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Neurogenesis in the adult brain: The association with stress and depression

The brain is the key organ in the response to stress. Brain reactions determine what in the world is threatening and might be stressful for us, and regulate the stress responses that can be either adaptive or maladaptive. Chronic stress can affect the brain and lead into depression: Environmental stressors related to job or family situation are important triggers of depressive episodes and major life events such as trauma or abuse amongst the most potent factors inducing depression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that major depression will soon be the worlds greatest public health burden. Thus optimising antidepressive therapy with regard to delayed or insufficient treatment response and unwanted side effects is urgent. Since the development of novel antidepressants is based upon an improved neurobiological understanding of this condition, new information about the cellular changes that take place in the brain is required.

Professor Fuchs from the Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory, German Primate Center in Goettingen, will present the latest findings on how brain cells can be adversely affected by stress and depression. He will explain how the adult brain is generating new cells and which impact these findings will have on the development of novel antidepressant drugs.


Contact: Sonja Mak
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

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