New Insight Into the Neurobiology of Depression


Certain aspects of depression result from maladaptive stress-induced changes in reward circuits of the brain.

What exactly is the pathophysiology behind depression? Recent studies have shown that certain aspects of depression result from maladaptive stress-induced changes in reward circuits of the brain. Dr Eric Nestler and his team are currently looking at the detailed molecular mechanisms that underlie the changes. They are looking at a new model of depression in mice, which provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms by which chronic stress produces lasting changes in the brain to cause depression-like syptmoms.

Dr Nestler is the Nash Family Professor of Neuroscience at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where he serves as Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Friedman Brain Institute. He received his BA, PhD, and MD degrees, and psychiatry residency training, from Yale University. He served on the Yale faculty from 1987 through 2000, where he was the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology, and Director of the Division of Molecular Psychiatry. He moved to Dallas in 2000 where he served as the Lou and Ellen McGinley Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center until moving to New York in 2008. Dr Nestler is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The goal of Dr Nestler’s research is to better understand the molecular mechanisms of addiction and depression based on work in animal models, and to use this information to develop improved treatments of these disorders.

As one of this year’s featured speakers at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association he is scheduled to speak on resilience as part of the Presidential Symposia on Tuesday, May 21, at 9 AM. He is scheduled to give a lecture on the neurobiology of depression on Tuesday, May 21 at 1:30 PM.

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