Depression in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Common Mechanisms and Current Treatment Options.

Depression in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Common Mechanisms and Current Treatment Options.

Publication date: Apr 14, 2019

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent psychiatric disorder and a major cause of disability worldwide. This neurological condition is commonly associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Huntington’s Disease (HD), and has a significant impact on the increasing burden of these neuropathologies. Over the past decades, some of the pathophysiological and molecular mechanisms that contribute to these diseases have been elucidated and these findings indicate that, despite presenting distinct features, there are several similarities between the neurobiological alterations that lead to MDD and neurodegeneration in AD, PD and HD. For instance, disturbances in monoaminergic transmission and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, increased oxidative and neuroinflammatory events, and impaired trophic support are thought to contribute to neuronal atrophy and death in all these diseases. In addition, neuroimaging findings have helped elucidate the structural and functional changes implicated in the relationship between depression and neurodegeneration, thus establishing a neuroanatomical signature to explain, at least in part, the comorbidity between MDD and AD, PD and HD. The present review summarizes these findings and the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of common antidepressant therapies for the treatment of MDD in patients with these neurodegenerative diseases. This population is particularly vulnerable to the drawdowns of conventional antidepressant therapy (namely inadequate response and high risk of side effects), and the development of emerging therapeutic approaches to treat MDD in patients with AD, PD and HD is thus of paramount importance to improve the quality of life of these individuals.

Galts, C.P.C., Bettio, L.E.B., Jewett, D.C., Yang, C.C., Brocardo, P.S., Rodrigues, A.L.S., Thacker, J.S., and Gil-Mohapel, J. Depression in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Common Mechanisms and Current Treatment Options. 06446. 2019 Neurosci Biobehav Rev.

Concepts Keywords
Adrenal Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer Neuroscience
Antidepressant Neurodegeneration
Atrophy Antidepressant
Common Major depressive disorder
Comorbidity RTT
Depression Abnormal psychology
Disability Depression
HPA Axis Psychiatry
Huntington Branches of biology
Hypothalamic Organ systems
Inadequate Psychiatric diagnosis
Major Depressive Disorder Antidepressant therapies
Neuroanatomical Antidepressant therapy
Neurobiological Diseases
Neurodegeneration Psychiatric disorder
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Psychiatric Disorder


Type Source Name
disease MESH Major depressive disorder
disease DOID Major depressive disorder
pathway BSID Neurodegenerative Diseases
disease MESH Neurodegenerative Diseases
disease MESH Depression
disease MESH development
disease MESH comorbidity
disease MESH death
disease MESH atrophy

Original Article

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