This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.

Beyond Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Relationship of Neurotransmitters to the Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

David J. Nutt, MD, PhD

Published: April 30, 2008

Article Abstract

A relationship appears to exist between the 3 main monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain (i.e., dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) and specific symptoms of major depressive disorder. Specific symptoms are associated with the increase or decrease of specific neurotransmitters, which suggests that specific symptoms of depression could be assigned to specific neurochemical mechanisms, and subsequently specific antidepressant drugs could target symptom-specific neurotransmitters. Research on electroconvulsive therapy has supported a correlation between neurotransmitters and depression symptoms. A 2-dimensional model of neurotransmitter functions is discussed that describes depression as a mixture of 2 separate components-negative affect and the loss of positive affect-that can be considered in relation to the 3 amine neurotransmitters. Owing to the different methods of action of available antidepressant agents and the depression symptoms thought to be associated with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, current treatments can be targeted toward patients’ specific symptoms.


Some JCP and PCC articles are available in PDF format only. Please click the PDF link at the top of this page to access the full text.

Volume: 69

Quick Links: Depression (MDD)

Sign-up to stay
up-to-date today!

SUBSCRIBE

Already registered? Sign In

Case Report

Safety and Tolerability of Concomitant Intranasal Esketamine Treatment With Irreversible, Nonselective MAOIs: A Case Series

Three cases suggest that concomitant use of intranasal esketamine with an irreversible, nonselective MAOI is safe in...

Read More...