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Introduction to biological and molecular psychiatry 

Introduction to biological and molecular psychiatry
Chapter:
Introduction to biological and molecular psychiatry
Author(s):

Andrew Hodgkiss

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198759911.003.0002
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date: 17 April 2021

An introduction to biological and molecular psychiatry is offered, intended for oncology and palliative medicine clinicians. A recent historical perspective is used, beginning with a summary of monoaminergic and cholinergic neurotransmission as understood in the 1980s. One endocrine theory of depression, based on HPA axis dysfunction, is described. Recognition of the limits of these models has led to a deeper molecular psychiatry ‘beyond the synapse’ and to an appreciation of the importance of amino acid neurotransmission. Selective expression of proteins, and their covalent and allosteric modification, is now seen as central to neuroplasticity. The NMDA receptor and excitotoxicity are introduced. The chapter closes with an overview of the amygdala and of hippocampal neurogenesis.

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