About the book
Major depression is as old as mankind. Treatment of depression has been and still is a major challenge notwithstanding the rapid rise in our knowledge of the brain and its (dysfunction)functions. Since halfway last century, research into putative antidepressants has emerged, leading to early antidepressants like monoamine oxidase inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants. These early drugs have antidepressant effects but only in a limited part of the depressed population and suffered from serious side effects and slow onset of action. The next generation builds on the underlying mechanisms of action of the early antidepressants and, although having fewer side effects, still had no improved antidepressant profile. Although since then several other mechanisms have been investigated and tried as therapeutic drugs, no real breakthroughs have been obtained. In the last decade, new developments in glutaminergic mechanisms have suggested that this new area might bring new and better antidepressants. Ketamine and associated molecules might create a new way of treating severe depression: fast onset of action and activity in treatment-resistant depression.
The present book will try to capture several aspects of the ongoing search for new and better antidepressants. New developments in molecules, brain (dys)function, (epilepsy)genetics, genomics, the onset of action, brain stimulation, and new treatment strategies are at present relevant research themes. The book will try to capture the present situation by implementing both medical, biological, chemical, and genetic aspects in an endeavor to represent the present state of the art.