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Neurogenesis in the adult brain: The association with stress and depression
Date:8/31/2008

This release is available in Spanish.

The brain is the key organ in the response to stress. It reacts in a complex, orchestrated manner that is related to the activation and inhibition of neural structures involved in sensory, motor, autonomic, cognitive and emotional processes. It is the brain which finally determines what in the world is threatening and might be stressful for us, and which regulates the stress responses that can be either adaptive or maladaptive. Chronic stress can affect the brain and lead into depression: Environmental stressors (e.g. job and family situation, neighborhood) and especially stressful life events such as trauma or abuse are amongst the most potent factors to induce depression. Since the development of novel approaches to antidepressant treatment is based upon an improved neurobiological understanding of this condition, new information about the cellular changes that take place in the brain is required.

Depression: a growing public health burden

Depression is a chronic, recurring, multifactorial, and life-threatening disorder, which represents a collection of psychological, neuroendocrine, physiological and behavioural symptoms. Chronicity and frequency of these symptoms constitute the clinical condition. Depressive disorders affect up to 20% of people at some time in their life. In primary care, an estimated 20��% of patients suffer from depression, but often are not diagnosed correctly (Wittchen, 2000).

Depressive disorders are among the most prevalent illnesses worldwide, producing significant public health and socioeconomic problems (WHO, 2001). The immense costs of depression account for approximately 1% of the gross domestic product in Europe (approximately 100 billion Euro). Depression is affecting more than 120 million people globally, and is set to rise to become one o
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Contact: Sonja Mak
s.mak@update.europe.at
43-140-557-340
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

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