Editors: Andre F. Carvalho, Gislaine Zilli Reus, João Luciano de Quevedo

Series Title: Frontiers in Drug Discovery

The Search for Antidepressants - An Integrative View of Drug Discovery

Volume 2

eBook: US $129 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $219
Printed Copy: US $155
Library License: US $516
ISSN: 2542-7350 (Print)
ISSN: 2214-6210 (Online)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-474-9 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-473-2 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2017
DOI: 10.2174/97816810847321170201

Introduction

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent, chronic, and recurring mental disorder. This disorder is a leading source of disability worldwide, and is associated with excess mortality rates. Currently approved antidepressants primarily enhance, or otherwise modulate monoaminergic neurotransmission, without curing the disease. Evidence indicates that only one third of patients with MDD achieve remission after treatment with a first-line antidepressant agent. Research in the past two decades has provided valuable insights into the pathophysiological understanding of MDD. However, there is an acknowledged ‘translational gap’ in the field, and few genuinely novel antidepressants have been approved for the treatment of MDD.

The Search for Anti Depressants provides readers an in-depth picture of the main pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the development of MDD in patients. Chapters in the volume focus on possible strategies to spur the discovery of novel antidepressants. This book is an indispensable reference for mental health care providers, students at both under-graduate and graduate levels, and neuroscientists interested in the neurobiology of MDD and recent advances towards the discovery of next generation antidepressants.

Foreword

In spite of the undeniable progress of Psychiatry over the past 60 years, and hundreds of new molecules having been tested for the treatment of mental disorders, the pharmacological treatment of depression is far from being satisfactory. In the last decades, no significant paradigm shifts in the psychopharmacology of mood disorders have occurred, mostly because the development of novel antidepressant agents is limited by our limited understanding of the pathophysiology of the illness. In this context, Andre F. Carvalho, Gislaine Z. Reus, and João Quevedo have devoted their talent and effort to provide us with a crisp summary of the past, present, and future treatment options for the management of depression that will please both preclinical and clinical investigators in neuropsychopharmacology. This e-jewell, rather than e-book, (and its printed version) gathers prominent researchers in basic and clinical psychopharmacology, authoring thoughtful chapters on exciting topics such as animal models, optogenetics, endophenotypes, repurposing, cognitive dysfunction, biomarkers, oxidative stress, and the microbiota-brain axis, which are outstandingly relevant for understanding the current approach to the pathopshysiology of mood disorders. Modern and traditional treatment targets, such as glutamate receptors, monoamine-oxidase-A, intracellular signaling pathways, and new avenues based on the comorbidity between depression and metabolic syndrome, neuropeptides, or herbal remedies are also part of this comprehensive text which starts with a wonderful chapter on innovative solutions for the development of new antidepressant drugs. I personally enjoyed reading it and learnt much from it. In difficult times such as ours, when social and methodological hurdles are challenging our ability to translate scientific progress into true impactful innovation in this field, the reading of this book fuels fresh air into the community of scientists, clinicians, and perhaps informed patients who await answers or at least better questions for the understanding and management of depression.

Eduard Vieta, MD, PhD
Chair
Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Hospital Clinic,
Institute of Neuroscience, University of Barcelona,
IDIBAPS, CIBERSAM, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain


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