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Neurobiological aetiology of mood disorders 

Neurobiological aetiology of mood disorders
Neurobiological aetiology of mood disorders

Guy Goodwin

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date: 27 January 2022

Neurobiology provides an explanation of behaviour or experience at the level, either of systems of neurones or individual cells. The current era of progress is driven by contemporary cognitive neuroscience and a rapid evolution in the platform technologies of imaging and genetics. These will allow us to improve our accounts of the functional anatomy of the component elements of mood and its disorder, their functional neurochemistry and, in all probability, give meaning to what a cellular account of depressive illness may eventually describe. This chapter will offer a partial and personal view of these developments to date. There are now authoritative models of causation in mood disorder, established from well designed, large-scale twin studies (see Chapter 4.5.5). These inform the classical formulation of mood disorder as requiring a vulnerability, a precipitating factor or factors, and maintaining factors which prevent spontaneous recovery. Neurobiology will be addressed under these headings.

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