Antidepressant Action Requires New Neurons

Background: The antidepressant medications available today include the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac) which figures into this research. The hippocampus is part of the olfactory cortex, that part of the cerebral cortex essential to the sense of smell, and is known to help regulate emotion and memory. The hippocampus is so-called because its shape suggests that of a seahorse. From the Greek hippos (horse) + kampos (a sea monster).

The Gist: "We have known that antidepressants influence the birth of neurons in the hippocampus. Now it appears that this effect may be important for the clinical response (to antidepressants)." (Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health)

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Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors,

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