Journal of Mental Health and Aging

Review Article - Journal of Mental Health and Aging (2018) Volume 2, Issue 1

Borderline personality disorder symptomatology and age: an analysis using SPECT imaging.

Neuroimaging techniques provide measures of brain structure and function as well as cerebral activity during cognitive processes. These techniques have evaluated the effects of psychiatric illnesses on the brain, specifically, studying how brain-behavior relationships change due to a mental illness. Neuroimaging not only serves as a way to measure the brain structure and function, but it also provides a way to compare neural systems and see how they change due to the progression and treatment of a mental illness. Additionally, neuroimaging facilitates the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders as well as the identification of therapeutic targets [1]. Since the 1970’s, neuroimaging has been used to investigate various mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression [2]. Structural and functional are the two main types of neuroimaging tests. Structural imaging such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) creates an image of the brain’s structure including bone, tissue, and blood vessels. Functional imaging such as positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and single photon emission computer tomography (SPECT) reveals activity by measuring blood flow, chemical activity, and electrical impulses [3]. Functional imaging is based on a consistent relationship between regional changes in the cellular activity of the brain and changes in the circulation and metabolism of that region [4]. Since the late 1800’s, scientists have known that local blood flow in the brain changes in parallel with changes in cellular activity [4]. Furthermore, brain scans not only show damage to brain tissue, the skull, or blood vessels, but they also assist researchers in studying the effects of healthy brain development, the effects of mental illness, and the effects of mental health treatment on the brain [3]. Thus, neuroimaging is being increasingly applied to the development of psychiatric therapies.

Author(s): Michelle Blose

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