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Cortisol in mood disorders

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Allan Young


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Dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been well-described in mood disorders. Hypercortisolaemia, which has been attributed to a breakdown in glucocorticoid-receptor-mediated negative feedback mechanisms within the HPA axis, may be central to the pathogenesis of both the depressive symptoms and the cognitive deficits, which characterise severe mood disorders. Strategies to normalise glucocorticoid receptor (GR) function, and thus restore HPA functional integrity, have been the focus of recent research. Preliminary preclinical and clinical studies report encouraging results which suggest that lowering circulating cortisol levels, by up-regulating GRs, may have therapeutic efficacy in terms of improvements in depressive symptoms and cognitive functioning. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Young AH

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Stress

Year: 2004

Volume: 7

Issue: 4

Pages: 205-208

ISSN (print): 1025-3890

ISSN (electronic): 1029-2160


DOI: 10.1080/10253890500069189

PubMed id: 16019585