Purpose of review: This review considers recent advances in the application of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to the study of neuropsychiatric disorders.
Recent findings: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging is a relatively novel technique that has several potential advantages over task-activation functional magnetic resonance imaging in terms of its clinical applicability. A number of research groups have begun to investigate the use of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders including Alzheimer's disease, depression, and schizophrenia. Although preliminary results have been fairly consistent in some disorders (for example, Alzheimer's disease) they have been less reproducible in others (schizophrenia). Resting-state connectivity has been shown to correlate with behavioral performance and emotional measures. It's potential as a biomarker of disease and an early objective marker of treatment response is genuine but still to be realized.
Summary: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging has made some strides in the clinical realm but significant advances are required before it can be used in a meaningful way at the single-patient level.