Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 15
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825266

Effects of antidepressants in postmortem and neuroimaging studies

B Baumann 1, H Bielau 1, B Bogerts 1, HG Bernstein 1
  • 1Department for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine; Otto-von-Guericke Universität, Magdeburg

Postmortem and neuroimaging studies describe effects of antidepressants in human depression and thereby provide a significant contribution to the database on effects in animals. An overview is given on own results and data from the literature. Antidepressants appear to restore dysfunctional neural circuits involved in regulation of mood. Moreover they activate monaminergic neurons in the brainstem. The latter effect may promote neuronal plasticity as has been shown in animal models of depression. Other data suggest, that antidepressants compensate for neuronal deficits in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and thereby they might contribute to amelioration of chronobiological disturbances in mood disorders.