New Prospects in the Treatment of Depression
Forecasts of developments in medicine have not been particularly successful (Turner, 198l). This is because such forecasts can only be based on what is known in the present, and rely on the philosophy expressed by Bender et al (1969) — “The future must build on the present, and the present is merely a cumulative summary of the past”. However, while this may be an acceptable retrospective generalisation, it is not really a satisfying basis for a detailed predictive exercise, for while it may be possible to trace present events to their past causes, abrupt changes in the course of events may be brought about by the exercise of human intuition and ingenuity — “lateral thinking” perhaps — often associated with a considerable element of serendipity. In other words, the forecast of new prospects in anti-depressive treatment which is to follow must be based on a personal view of the importance of recent developments in psychopharmacological research. It cannot take into account abrupt changes due to momentous discoveries which may be made at any time in the future which may rapidly revolutionise our understanding of the pathogenesis of depression or approaches to its treatment.
KeywordsDepression Propranolol Clonidine Metoprolol Imipramine
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