The acute treatment duration for major depressive disorder (MDD) is 8 weeks or more. Treatment of patients with MDD without predictors of treatment response and future recurrence presents challenges and clinical problems to patients and physicians. Recently, many neuroimaging studies have been published on biomarkers for treatment response and recurrence of MDD using various methods such as brain volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI (resting-state and affective tasks), diffusion tensor imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, near-infrared spectroscopy, and molecular imaging (i.e., positron emission tomography and single photon emission computed tomography). The results have been inconsistent, and we hypothesize that this could be due to small sample size; different study design, including eligibility criteria; and differences in the imaging and analysis techniques. In the future, we suggest a more sophisticated research design, larger sample size, and a more comprehensive integration including genetics to establish biomarkers for the prediction of treatment response and recurrence of MDD.
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