Depression as a consequence of inadequate neurochemical adaptation in response to stressors.
The British journal of psychiatry. Supplement Issue 15 p. 36- 43
Stressors induce behavioural disturbances and neurochemical changes in animals, some of which are reminiscent of the symptoms and presumed neurochemical concomitants of depression in humans. Just as in humans, where considerable inter-individual variability is evident in the symptom profile of depression, there is marked inter-individual and inter-strain variability in the behavioural effects of stressors in animals. It is proposed that stressors induce adaptive neurochemical changes, failure of which may engender behavioural disturbances. Variability in the symptoms of depression and in the efficacy of its pharmacological treatment may reflect the biochemical heterogeneity of the illness. Inter-individual differences in vulnerability to stressor-provoked neurochemical changes may contribute to the behavioural profiles observed.