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Neurobiology 

Neurobiology
Chapter:
Neurobiology
Author(s):

Sonia Israel

, David Benrimoh

, Sylvanne Daniels

, and Gustavo Turecki

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190929565.003.0002
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date: 21 May 2022

This chapter explores the evidence of disturbances in various neurobiological pathways in depression. No unifying pathophysiological mechanism has yet been discovered. Depression is more than simply a deficiency in a single neurotransmitter or pathway, as neurobiological correlates of depression have been identified in diverse studies. This chapter reviews depression-related changes in neurotransmitter systems, neurogenesis, inflammation, stress response, and functional genomics including epigenetics, and how these might contribute to the depressive phenotype. The diverse neurobiological findings of depression reflect the nature of its symptomatology, and likely etiological heterogeneity. Current evidence suggests that depression is not a single condition, but rather multiple overlapping phenotypes with converging and diverging underlying pathophysiological processes. New treatments may be identified with a better understanding of depression neurobiology. Such advances could also lead to the development of prognostic and diagnostic markers, which would allow for more personalized treatment and resource allocation.

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