Chapter

Depression and mania: clinical features and brain mechanisms

Heather Ashton

in Brain Function and Psychotropic Drugs

Published in print August 1992 | ISBN: 9780192622426
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724749 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192622426.003.0011
Depression and mania: clinical features and brain mechanisms

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It is clear, from the clinical manifestations and observed physiological changes, that brain systems for arousal and sleep, reward and punishment, and learning and memory are involved in depression and mania, but the central feature is an alteration of mood. Similar mood changes may occur in organic brain disease, and it is possible that neuropathological changes underlie major affective disorders. However, in many cases these conditions appear to result from a largely reversible, though recurrent, functional disorder of brain systems controlling emotional tone. This chapter discusses the present evidence which points to a dysfunction of the limbic system, particularly in pathways subserving reward and punishment. Depression and mania can thus be viewed as disorders of reward and punishment systems, with features in common with drug dependence and chronic pain syndromes.

Keywords: depression; mania; reward systems; neuropathological changes; limbic system; punishment systems; chronic pain; drug dependence

Chapter.  11148 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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