Abstract and Keywords
Antidepressant medications are the most commonly used treatments for depression. However, sustained full remission with single antidepressant drugs is uncommon. This is why combination treatments with two different medications or medications plus psychotherapy are often required to produce full remission. There are several antidepressant classes with different proximal mechanisms of action. Yet, all currently available antidepressants appear to act via a narrow set of distal mechanisms, ultimately affecting the development of neural regulatory networks. Drugs increase the expression of neurotrophins such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which leads to neurogenesis and synapse formation, actions that evolve over extended periods. This may be why antidepressants effects are usually delayed. The actions on regulatory networks in brain yield benefits that extend beyond depression to anxiety disorders and other conditions.
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