Molecular Mechanism of Depression: A narrative review of the leading neurobiological theories of Depression

Monday, February 4th, 2019

Affective disorders, notably major depression and anxiety, are a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in society today, with the prevalence of depression estimated to be 10-16% in the general population and it is important to have effective treatments available for potentially life-threatening affective disorders. Yet, our understanding of the pathophysiology of depression and anxiety disorders has traditionally been limited due to the difficulty in investigating the brain in vivo. Thus, the molecular bases of these medication targets remain unclear. Recent advances in neuroscience have allowed us to gain a better understanding of  the pharmacological basis of medical treatments for affective disorders. This new knowledge may pave the way for improved management of depression and anxiety. This review summarises some of the leading theories surrounding the neurobiology of depression and link them with both current and potential pharmacological treatments for depression.

Download (PDF, 656KB)