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Functional Neuroimaging: A Transformative Tool for Integrative Psychiatry 

Functional Neuroimaging: A Transformative Tool for Integrative Psychiatry
Functional Neuroimaging: A Transformative Tool for Integrative Psychiatry

Abass Alavi

, and Andrew B. Newberg

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date: 21 September 2020

Functional neuroimaging with positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be highly useful in the evaluation and management of patients with psychiatric disorders. PET and SPECT imaging typically evaluate cerebral metabolism and blood flow, respectively, and can determine patterns associated with different disorders such as depression or schizophrenia. PET and SPECT imaging can also evaluate neurotransmitter changes such as dopamine or serotonin associated with different psychiatric disorders. fMRI is an excellent tool for studying the effects of psychiatric disorders on specific brain processes related to cognition and mood. fMRI activations studies allow researchers to present various stimuli to a subject in order to determine how the brain reacts and whether psychiatric disorders are associated with different brain reactivity patterns. Functional neuroimaging with PET, SPECT, and fMRI can be highly useful in the investigation of the mechanism of action of integrative therapies for psychiatric disorders.

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