Technology from Mount Sinai Steps into the Digital Healthcare Universe

A treatment for depression using Emotional Faces Memory Task (EFMT), a technology originally developed by two Mount Sinai researchers, resulted in a significantly greater reduction of major depressive disorder (MDD) symptoms compared to a control group, according to initial clinical results presented at the Society of Biological Psychiatry Annual Scientific Convention on May 19, 2017, in San Diego. EFMT is a cognitive-emotional treatment that is delivered via an app on the Click Neurobehavioral Intervention (CNI) platform , a clinically-validated patient engagement platform developed by Click Therapeutics™.

This treatment was developed at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai by Brian Iacoviello, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry who is Director of Scientific Affairs for Click Therapeutics, and Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean and Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience, and Pharmacological Sciences. The underlying mechanism for MDD that the intervention targets involves an imbalance in the activity of specific brain regions: individuals with MDD show hyperactivity of neural systems involved in emotion processing, such as the amygdala, coupled with decreased activity of systems involved in cognitive control and emotion regulation, such as the prefrontal cortex. The amygdala processes incoming emotionally salient stimuli, whereas the prefrontal cortex, as the executive center of the brain, decides whether the incoming stimuli are noteworthy.

Patients using this therapeutic are asked to identify an emotion displayed in a series of faces, and for each face, they are asked to identify the number of faces earlier in the series in which they encountered the same emotion. This aims to balance brain activity in these regions to work in concert with each other. In the trial, the therapeutic…

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