Tag: New Advances in Brain Technology

How New Advances In Brain Technology May Revolutionize Behavioral Healthcare

By Dr. Antonio Rotondo, licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in neuropsychology.

Neurotechnologies that help diagnose and treat brain disorders are, in essence, a form of “information technology” in the behavioral healthcare world. They’re also relatively new in the history of psychiatry, and their advent is allowing us to more accurately diagnose and treat those who suffer from addiction and mental illness.

Subjective pursuit or objective science? Psychiatry vs. other branches of medicine

With most medical diagnoses, doctors have been able to rely on objective tests to diagnose and treat patients’ ailments:

On the other hand, in the absence of similarly objective, diagnostic tools, diagnosing and treating mental disorders has long been a more subjective exercise— and probably one big reason that psychiatry has historically been subject to marginalization next to other “more scientific” branches of medicine.

Much also remains to be understood about the neurobiology of mental disorders and their treatment. It’s a fact that the psychotherapist Gary Greenberg, writing in the April 2019 issue of The Atlantic, has rightfully noted is “unsurprising, given that the brain turns out to be one of the most complex objects in the universe.”

Advances in brain imaging technologies and what they can reveal

But in recent years we’ve begun learning more and more about the brain and the neurobiology of its dysfunction, thanks to various brain imaging technologies that allow us to map this incredibly complex organ, trace its activity and locate abnormalities in health and function:

Diagnosing and treating mental disorders – in pursuit of a more exact science

Thanks to these developments, we now know with reasonable clinical certainty that specific brain networks and regions are associated with various types of cognitive and psychiatric dysfunction, involving substance addiction, mood disturbances (depression, anxiety, mania, etc.), or neuropsychological deficiencies (attention problems, impulse control issues, learning disabilities, etc.).

Continue Reading