Special Issue "Antidepressants: Mechanistic Insights and Future Directions"
A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Depression affects one in five adults during their lifetime and is estimated to cost an estimated 200 billion dollars per year in the United States. Untreated depression is a major contributor to suicide, and rates of suicide have been increasing in recent years. Taken together, there is an urgent public need to address the problem of depression and to identify effective treatments. Current medicines for depression are effective for only a proportion of treated patients, and are based on clinical observations and biological discoveries dating back to the 1950s and 60s.
Advances in basic and translational neuroscience are now elucidating the underlying causes of depression and the mechanisms of action of conventional monoaminergic antidepressants. In particular, the role of different forms of stress and attendant biological sequelae in the pathophysiology of depressive disorders is coming to light. Changes in neuroplasticity pathways, stress hormones, immune signaling, and epigenetic changes are among some of the systems currently being studied.
Recent early phase human trials are showing the promise of mechanistically novel agents that target systems outside of the monoamines. Multiple recent reports show that targeting components of the glutamate system, including the NMDA receptor, has substantial potential to improve treatment outcomes for depression. Recently, studies have also shown that neurosteroids and other novel compounds targeting GABA may have rapid antidepressant effects. Strategies to repurpose compounds approved for other indications and pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements (nutraceuticals) are other promising strategies that are being tested for reducing the burden of depression and promoting resilience against stress.
Over the last decade, large-scale neuroimaging studies have been undertaken to parse out the antidepressant-specific response from a placebo as well as the identify predictors of the response to one antidepressant over another. Such an approach to personalizing treatment selection is critically important, as current trial-and-error practices of prescribing medications result in multiple ineffective and burdensome trials before finding an effective treatment. Like pharmacogenomic testing, which is gaining widespread use, blood-based multi-omics approaches promise to usher in an era of precision medicine where treatment selection and optimization is personalized for each individual patient with depression.
The journal Pharmaceuticals invites both reviews and original articles elucidating the pathophysiology of depression, mechanistic insights of antidepressants, promising targets for novel antidepressants, and future directions to personalize treatment selection for patients with depression.
Prof. James W. Murrough
Prof. Manish K. Jha
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 850 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.