• Yiru FangEmail author
  • Ruizhi Mao
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1180)


Depressive disorder is one of the most widespread forms of mental disorders which lead to a significant public health concern, such as disability, suicide, and so on. Its etiology remains vague but it is believed that depressive disorder is a multifactorial disease which is induced by the interaction of social, psychological, and biological factors. Thus, there is no clear and definite pathological theory could illustrate its mechanism independently until now, involving genetics, neuroimaging, neuroinflammation, neuroendocrine, and others. Comprehensive assessment to patients with depression is the starting point for a right diagnosis. History-taking of physical condition is as important as psychiatric interview and rational usage of scales would be beneficial for screening. There are many kinds of therapeutic measures for depressive patients nowadays, including general intervention, pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and physical therapy. For now, anti-depressants used in clinical practice is almost monoamine-based drugs while much more progress have been made in developing new antidepressant medications, like prototypical N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists, opioid agonists, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptors, and psychedelics. Once these novel drugs are proved to be practicable, it will create a historical evolution in the field of psychiatry. In addition, we advocate that measurement-based care (MBC) should run through the whole duration of treatment and goals of MBC in every stage are different. As brain projects in many countries are conducting in inspiring ways, we believe that our understanding about depressive disorder, of course, and other neuropsychiatric disorders will be better in the future.


Depressive disorder Etiology Diagnosis Screening Treatment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Research Center and Division of Mood DisordersShanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina
  2. 2.CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence TechnologyShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic DisordersShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Division of Mood DisordersShanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina

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