New directions for the treatment of depression: Targeting the photic regulation of arousal and mood (PRAM) pathway

Hannah E. Bowrey, Morgan H. James, Gary Aston-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Both preclinical and clinical studies demonstrate that depression is strongly associated with reduced light availability, which in turn contributes to decreased function of brain regions that control mood. Here, we review findings that support a critical pathway for the control of mood that depends upon ambient light. We put forward a novel hypothesis, functionally linking retina to locus coeruleus (LC) in depression, and discuss the role of norepinephrine in affective disease. Finally, we discuss how utilizing the chemogenetic tool Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) to precisely control this retina–LC circuit may be used as a novel therapeutic to treat depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-595
Number of pages8
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Volume34
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • antidepressants
  • anxiety/anxiety disorders
  • depression
  • mood disorders
  • pharmacotherapy
  • seasonal affective disorder
  • sleep disorders
  • stress
  • treatment

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