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Mental and neural restructuring during the treatment of depression: Do Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors enhance learning-related neural plasticity?

van Alebeek, Hannah (2019) Mental and neural restructuring during the treatment of depression: Do Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors enhance learning-related neural plasticity? Master's Thesis / Essay, Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences.

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Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly prevalent disorders which is accompanied by hippocampal atrophy mediating impairments in learning and memory. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) are the first-choice pharmacological treatment but have been criticised for low response rates and the delay until therapeutic effects are attained. Taking these criticisms into account, it is hypothesised that acute SSRI administration directly facilitates learning-related neuroplasticity which in turn improves depressive symptoms though relearning of new self-referential associations. Thereby, the role of positive environmental interactions is highlighted. The essay discusses the nootropic potential of SSRIs by focussing on enhanced synaptic plasticity, neurogenesis, and learning through increased extracellular serotonin levels. In general, serotonin has the potential to facilitate synaptic plasticity through CREB-dependent transcription of neurotropic factors such as brain derived neurotrophic factor. Additionally, increased cell proliferation in the hippocampus and improved memory performance was observed after administration of serotonergic agents. While the results are primarily based on preclinical animal studies, similar effect in humans suggest that SSRI induced neuroplasticity may be translatable to human populations.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Havekes, R.R.Havekes@rug.nl
Nieuwenstein, M.R.M.R.Nieuwenstein@rug.nl
Degree programme: Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2019
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2019 14:34
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/20531

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