Treating depression is guesswork. But brain scans and machine learning programs are paving the way to a breakthrough.

Treating depression is guesswork. But brain scans and machine learning programs are paving the way to a breakthrough.

Here’s a frustrating fact for anyone who has been prescribed medication or therapy for depression: your doctor doesn’t know what treatment will work for you. The two main treatments are cognitive behavioral therapy, a talk-centered approach that gets patients to readjust their habits, and anti-depressant medications.Both are about equally effective. Around 40 percent of patients will get better on either. But no one treatment reliably works for everyone. And it’s not just about talk therapy versus drugs. Even in the realm of medication, available drugs like Zoloft and Cymbalta will work for some but not others. Enter “precision psychiatry".

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