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Animal models for depression
Published on November 30, 2020 22 min
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Hello everyone. My name is Anand, and I'm a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Sydney in Australia. For this Henry Stewart Talk, I will be reviewing animal models for depression.
The outline of my talk is as follows. I will first give an overview of depression. Then I will talk about modeling aspects of depression, and testing for depressive-like behaviors in rodents. I will briefly touch on some of the strategies used to generate models for depression, and then focus on stress as an inducing manipulation. I'll talk about gaining insights into mechanisms of disease, and sex as a biological variable before finishing off with some concluding thoughts. At the end of this lecture, I have included several references for further reading.
It goes without saying that with all that is going on in the world today, the prevalence of depression is likely to increase in the years ahead. Depression is a complex disorder, characterized by various symptoms such as decreased drive or loss of interests in pleasurable activities. Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are commonly prescribed, but there is substantial variation in clinical efficacy. There are some new entrance to the market that shows some promise such as ketamine, but most newly developed drugs often have poor success rates. The limited success in drug discovery is linked to a limited understanding of the underlying biology of a complex disorder. But it also reflects the difficulties in diagnosing depression. Not all patients who are diagnosed present with the same set of symptoms at the same point in time. There is an urgent need for the next generation of antidepressant therapies, that address these challenges, and animal models will continue to play an important role.