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Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known simply as depression, is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of pervasive low mood.

Current estimates are that severe depression affects around 2% of the global population at any given time, currently more than 150 million. The majority of cases don't appear to have an obvious personal and/or societal cause.

The pathophysiology of depression is not yet understood, but the current theories center around monoaminergic systems, the circadian rhythm, immunological dysfunction, HPA axis dysfunction and structural or functional abnormalities of emotional circuits. Source: Wikipedia

Further reading on the biology of depression at Wikipedia

Note: Many of the drugs currently used to treat depression have as-yet-unexplained mechanisms of action. e.g. fluoxelineplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigFluoxetine

Fluoxetine is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) used in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorderand Obsessive-Compulsive disorder etc.. It's marketed under the trade names Prozac™, Sarafem™, Fontex™ etc.

SSRIs are believed to act by inhibiti…
, ketamineplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigKetamine (treatment for depression)

The use of Ketamine to treat depression was formally investigated in a 2006 report for JAMA Psychiatry. A team based at the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland, found that :

"“Robust and rapid anti…
, lithiumplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigLithium (treatment for bipolar disorder)

Lithium, normally in the form of lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) is widely recognised as the 'gold standard' prescribed drug for treating bipolar disorder, depression and mania.

In widespread use since the early 1970s, lithium carb…
, modafinilplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigModafinil

Modafinil (sold under the brand names Alertec, Alertex, Altasomil, Aspendos, Forcilin, Intensit, Mentix, Modafinil, Modafinilo, Modalert, Modanil, Modasomil, Modvigil, Modiodal, Modiwake, Movigil, Provigil, Resotyl, Stavigile, Vigia, Vigicer, Vigil, Vigimax, …
etc etc.

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