Neuroendocrine Studies on the Pathogenesis of Depression
Depression is the most fundamental psychosomatic reaction caused by various etiological factors of which some are known to be genetic, some are environmental and some are of physical nature. The essence of depression is a reduction of vital potency which is directly manifested by symptoms such as depressed mood, retardation of the psychic process, decrease of individual drives and general activity and impairment of basic biological rhythms. Various kinds of individual personality reactions develop on the basis of these fundamental symptoms and make up diverse clinical pictures. Despite the variety of its clinical manifestations, depression is the most therapeutically accessible state by such biological treatments as antidepressants or electroconvulsive therapy. It is indisputable that the basic symptom of depression is brought about through a final common biological pathway irrespective of etiology. As a matter of fact, depression is the principal field upon which biological studies have recently been focused, and neuroendocrine findings, in particular, are accumulating. In this chapter, the significant results of clinical psychoneuroendocrine studies on depression (Ettigi and Brown, 1977; Hatotani et al., 1978). will be briefly reviewed and then an animal model of depression will be described in an attempt to explore further the role of neurotransmitters and the hypothalamo-pituitary system in the pathogenesis of depression (Hatotani et al., 1977, 1979).
KeywordsDepressed Patient Biogenic Amine Disappearance Rate Vaginal Smear Motor Responsiveness
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