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Bringing Human Brain Connectomics to Clinical Practice in Psychiatry

  • Shan H. Siddiqi
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Shan H. Siddiqi, M.D.
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Psychiatry, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Joseph J. Taylor
    Affiliations
    Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Psychiatry, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Andreas Horn
    Affiliations
    Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Michael D. Fox
    Affiliations
    Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

    Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Psychiatry, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    Search for articles by this author
      We now have tools to measure human brain connectivity in vivo. Connectomics is the field of research based on the study and analysis of these connectivity measurements. These developments have inspired efforts to bring connectomics to clinical practice in psychiatry, often in the form of diagnostic tests, prognostic indicators, therapeutic predictors, or markers of treatment response. If successful, these efforts would provide psychiatry with the types of measurements and tools that have been valuable in other areas of medicine. Just like emergency physicians might use computed tomography scans to distinguish pulmonary embolism from pericarditis, psychiatrists might use functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to distinguish schizophrenia from bipolar disorder. Just as oncologists monitor tumor markers to dynamically optimize chemotherapy, psychiatrists might monitor connectivity changes to rapidly optimize an antidepressant regimen.
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