Research Topic

Modeling Affective Disorders and Addiction in Animals

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The World Health Organization reported in 2001 that 450 million people worldwide suffer from some form of mental disorder. The 12-month prevalence in the US adult population is 18.1% for anxiety disorders and 9.5% for mood disorders. Lack of efficient treatments, especially for major depressive disorders, ...

The World Health Organization reported in 2001 that 450 million people worldwide suffer from some form of mental disorder. The 12-month prevalence in the US adult population is 18.1% for anxiety disorders and 9.5% for mood disorders. Lack of efficient treatments, especially for major depressive disorders, results in extreme societal costs. In addition, addiction to tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drugs is estimated to exact over $600 billion annually in the US in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and healthcare. For all of these reasons, the burden falls on basic research to elucidate the neurobiological bases of these disorders in order to develop improved treatments.

The goal of this research topic is to provide an overview of the latest basic research findings in the addiction and affective disorders (depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc.) fields. A specific focus will be placed on discussing the most current and powerful ways to model these disorders in animals. Topics to be covered include: genetic models, pharmacological models, environment/social models, behavioral paradigms, experimental approaches (including optogenetics), treatment approaches, and advanced data analyses. In addition, physician-scientist contributors will also provide translational perspectives on how these animal models relate to the human disorders. This collection of reviews and viewpoints will provide readers with a complete overview of the current state of the affective disorders and addiction fields from animal models to translational approaches.


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