About this Research Topic
Depression and anxiety are highly prevalent disorders and are considered a major public health concern worldwide. The social cost of the physical, mental, and broader personal difficulties associated with these disorders is substantial. Despite the availability of a wide range of drugs for treating depression and anxiety, most patients fail to achieve complete and sustained remission of symptoms. The current treatments for depression and anxiety have some pronounced limitations. Notably, they are characterized by low success rates, delayed onset of efficacy and they are associated with a variety of side effects, including sexual dysfunction and weight changes. Adverse side effects and delayed therapeutic effects lead to discontinuation of treatment. Moreover, due to the slow-onset nature of these drugs, many patients experience long periods of depressive symptoms without being beneficially treated. In order to overcome these limitations and produce better and faster treatments, we first need to understand the mechanisms underlying these disadvantages.
The development of new drugs for mood disorders have been on a standstill for the last decade. New drug candidates use the same mechanisms as the drugs discovered 30 years ago and suffer from the same downsides. Prolonged onset and a wide variety of side-effects cause low success rate and low satisfaction from available treatments and many patients are left with no relief.
This calls for a throughout investigation of the mechanisms underlying the slow onset and the major side effects of current treatment as well as a shift from the conventional drug-seeking strategies.
These strategies can originate from various directions – starting with exploring the mechanisms behind side effects of conventional treatment, through targeting different neurocircuitry than monoaminergic such as ketamine, and studying non- pharmacological interventions such as DBS.
The aim of the current Research Topic is to progress the understanding of the underlying causes to the major drawbacks and side-effects of current antidepressant treatments and to study the mechanisms underlying novel promising treatments for mood disorders. To this end, we will also feature studies on the mechanisms behind the long-term effects of chronic stress.
This Research Topic calls for all types of articles (Original Research, Methods, Reviews, Protocols, etc.) that cover, but are not restricted to, the following points:
• Long term effects of chronic stress and depression on individual behavior:
- Long-term cognitive deficits after exposure to stressors
- Exposure to stress in different life stages and its long-term effects
- Long-term biochemical and structural changes in the brain
• Molecular mechanisms for side effects and limitations of current antidepressant drugs
- Genetic variance in the susceptibility to side effects
- Delayed onset – moving beyond ketamine
- Not just 5HT1A – the role of different serotonin receptors in antidepressant drugs
• Biochemical and molecular actions of novel treatments for anxiety and depression
- The Involvement of the microbiome to anxiety and depression
- Deep brain stimulation – Neurochemical and clinical effects
- The therapeutic potential of monoamines and other neurotransmitters
The Guest Editors would like to express their profound gratitude to Dr. Keren Nizan for his valuable participation in the preparation and development of this Research Topic.
Keywords: Stress, Depression, Animal Models, Side Effects, Treatment
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