Neurobiology of Depression

Francisco Lopez-Munoz, Cecilio Alamo

September 9, 2011 by CRC Press
Reference - 526 Pages - 8 Color & 58 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781439838495 - CAT# K11746
Series: Frontiers in Neuroscience


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  • Presents state of the art research on the neurobiological aspects of depression
  • Analyzes marked alterations in the intraneuronal pathways of signal transduction in depression
  • Examines genetic regulation of emotion brain circuitries
  • Explores the role of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genomics in the aetiology of depression
  • Describes how extramonoaminergic neurotransmission systems are linked with the pathogeny of depressive disorder
  • Provides the neurological basis for the development of new antidepressant agents


Major depressive disorders have recently been associated with impairments in signaling pathways that regulate neuroplasticity and cell survival. Agents designed to directly target molecules in these pathways hold promise as new therapeutics for depression. With the collaboration of the most prestigious international specialists in biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics, psychiatry, psychology, and pharmacology, Neurobiology of Depression discusses the nature of the central nervous system circuits responsible for the modifications of neuronal functioning that lead to depression.

The book begins by discussing animal, neurophysiological, and neuropsychological models of depression as well as neural foundations. It explores genetic factors that contribute to depression and describes the effect of monoaminergic systems in the central nervous system.

Next, the book profiles the rise of psychopharmacology in the treatment of depression and the research into serotonin and monoamine reuptake inhibitors. It examines the role of the glutamatergic, endocannabinoid, and opioid systems in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, as well as the effect of biological rhythms on the human body.

Later chapters review the role of CRF-related ligands, CRF receptors, HPA axis activity, and glucocorticoid receptors in the regulation of the stress response and depression. They also describe cytokine modulation of molecular mechanisms. They examine the role of neuropeptide Y, nitric oxide, beta-arrestins, BDNF, and phosphodiesterases, and discuss the use of tachykinin antagonists in treatment. Finally, they analyze the neurobiological basis for the development of new antidepressant agents.

Exploring myriad aspects of a disease that plagues a large percentage of the population worldwide, this volume captures the state of the science of this debilitating disorder, facilitating further research and discovery.