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Posts tagged ‘PET scan’

What can you learn about mental illness from brain imaging?

A PET scan of a person who uses cannabis. The red areas show the highest levels of dopamine.

A PET scan of a person who uses cannabis. The red areas show the highest levels of dopamine.

Can you learn anything about schizophrenia from scanning brains? Yes, says Michael Bloomfield, a researcher at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre — it’s all about looking at the detail. Here he explains his work to mark Schizophrenia Awareness Week (11-17 November).

The first major revolution in the care of mentally ill patients occurred in the late 18th century. Philippe Pinel, working at the Salpêtrière Asylum in Paris, ordered the removal of chains from his patients, heralding the beginning of more psychological and humane treatments.

The second revolution came 100 years later when psychotherapy was first used, followed by a third in the mid-20th century with the discovery of psychiatric medicines.

We are now living in the midst of a fourth revolution: using modern brain imaging techniques to learn more about disease and develop new treatments. Read more