Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
← Back to Search

Why Do Antidepressants Take So Long To Work? A Cognitive Neuropsychological Model Of Antidepressant Drug Action

Catherine J. Harmer, Guy M. Goodwin, Philip J. Cowen

Save to my Library
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy Visualize in Litmaps
Share
Reduce the time it takes to create your bibliography by a factor of 10 by using the world’s favourite reference manager
Time to take this seriously.
Get Citationsy
BackgroundThe neuropharmacological actions of antidepressants are well characterised but our understanding of how these changes translate into improved mood are still emerging.AimsTo investigate whether actions of antidepressant drugs on emotional processing are a mediating factor in the effects of these drugs in depression.MethodWe examined key published findings that explored the effects of antidepressants on behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures of emotional processing.ResultsNegative emotional bias has been reliably associated with depression. Converging results suggest that antidepressants modulate emotional processing and increase positive emotional processing much earlier than effects on mood. These changes in emotional processing are associated with neural modulation in limbic and prefrontal circuitry.ConclusionsAntidepressants may work in a manner consistent with cognitive theories of depression. Antidepressants do not act as direct mood enhancers but rather change the relative balance of positive to negative emotional processing, providing a platform for subsequent cognitive and psychological reconsolidation.