There are a lot of misconceptions out there about major depressive disorder (MDD). Some think that depressed people merely need a change of heart, choosing to think happy thoughts instead of sad ones. Others think that depression results from chemical imbalances in the brain, not entirely untrue. However, MDD has a complexity well beyond these ideas, pushing scientists to find more innovative ways for treating depression.
Recently, one group of researchers decided to try a treatment with a new angle. Their method, called the Emotional Faces Memory Task (EFMT), was developed by two researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
To test this method, the researchers asked patients to identify emotions in a series of faces. At each face, the patients also pointed out all previous faces that gave them the same emotion. For ease of use, doctors can give the treatment through an app on a patient engagement platform that has a clinically proven efficacy, called the Click Neurobehavioral Intervention.
While it sounds simple, EFMT aims to balance the hyperactive amygdala with the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that makes decisions about incoming information.