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Hopes for diagnostic based on identified biomarkers

04/01/2013 (Aprox)


The identification of diagnostic biomarkers is supposed to help redefine bipolarity “in terms of different underlying pathophysiological processes that are likely to include abnormalities in neural circuitry” (de Almeida and Phillips 2013, 115). It is hoped that, in combination with genetics (and taking environmental factors into account), neuroimaging will reveal “neural predispositions” that increase the probability of developing some form of depression (Northoff 2013a).


Patients should in the future be “managed” according to “algorithms” based on brain states rather than on clinical examination and patient or professional preference (McGrath et al. 2013). As we saw above, this goal has been a response to the limited efficacy of antidepressants, which is in turn widely attributed to the heterogeneity of the condition and rests on the conviction that “depression” likely refers to multiple diseases, “each with a distinct neurobiology” (Holtzheimer and Mayberg 2011, 4).

Vidal, Fernando and Ortega, Francisco. Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject (Forms of Living)....

Get access to the articles mentioned by Vidal and Ortega:

de Almeida, Jorge C., and Mary Louise Phillips. 2013. “Distinguishing Between Unipolar Depression an...

Northoff, Georg. 2013a. “Gene, Brains, and Environment—Genetic Neuroimaging of Depression.” Current...

McGrath, Callie L., et al. 2013. “Toward a Neuroimaging Treatment Selection Biomarker for Major Depr...

Holtzheimer, Paul E., and Helen S. Mayberg. 2011. “Stuck in a Rut: Rethinking Depression and Its Tre...

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Published in 7/02/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

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