Research Topic

Neurobiology of Rapid Mood Changes

About this Research Topic

Depression still constitutes an enormous individual and societal burden, exhibits a tremendous impairment in quality of life and is characterized by a significant impairment of mood regulation. For long, reactivity of mood to treatment was thought to take weeks to months. The discovery of rapid mechanisms of ...

Depression still constitutes an enormous individual and societal burden, exhibits a tremendous impairment in quality of life and is characterized by a significant impairment of mood regulation. For long, reactivity of mood to treatment was thought to take weeks to months. The discovery of rapid mechanisms of mood reactivity, which elicit mood changes within several hours, has opened up new perspectives on the possible timescale of mood reactivity to treatment in depression. Interestingly, in bipolar depression, mood switches occur at a similar timescale, however the neurobiological mechanisms are insufficiently understood.

Research on the glutamatergic prototype antidepressant ketamine has yielded several mechanisms, that lead to a chain of events resulting in rapid mood changes. In detail, ketamine leads to NMDA-receptor dependent rapid release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and activation of mammalian target of rapamycine complex. Both of which induce rapid increases in synaptic plasticity, which is mirrored by recent work demonstrating reappearance of lost synaptic spines due to pharmacological stress. Besides these, ketamine and active metabolites appear to have NDMA-receptor independent mechanisms, such as activation of AMPA receptors. On the one side, it is crucial to understand rapid acting mechanisms of mood regulation to rapidly treat decreased mood in depressive states. On the other hand, mechanisms of mood regulation provide important information on pathophysiological regulation of mood in bipolar disorder. However, the neurobiological mechanisms of mood switches as they occur in patients with bipolar disorder – either in the course of the disease or treatment emergent – are understudied and less understood.

Hence, the aim of this Research Topic is to elucidate mechanisms of mood changes that occur either due to pathophysiological processes or due to therapeutic interventions. This Research Topic sets a broad focus on the phenomenon of rapid mood switches by applying diverse research methodologies ranging from cellular biology, molecular neuroscience, to clinical pharmacology, neuroimaging as well as electrophysiological neuromodulation.
Articles in the form of original scientific reports, conceptual reviews and opinions are welcome.

Dr. Kasper receives financial support from Angelini, AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Janssen, KRKA-Pharma, Lundbeck, Neuraxpharm, Pfizer, Pierre Fabre, Schwabe and Servier . The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: rapid acting antidepressants, mood, bipolar depression, glutamate, receptors


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Submission Deadlines

21 September 2020 Manuscript
31 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

21 September 2020 Manuscript
31 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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