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Investigating cognitive mechanisms in major depressive disorder using novel translational animal models

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Abstract

Despite the fact that pharmacological treatments for major depressive disorder (MDD) have been available for more half a decade, we still know relatively little about how they work.  Recent developments in clinical research suggest that negative biases in cognition and emotional processing play an important role in MDD .  Studying similar processes in non-human species offers a means to understand them and potentially develop better treatments. This presentation will describe our work developing translational rat models of cognitive affective behaviour.  The talk will discuss some recent work using these approaches to test novel hypotheses about the mechanisms of action and rate of onset of antidepressant drugs and how this new information may be applied in the clinic to give more rapid onset and efficacious antidepressant therapy. 

 

Biosketch

Emma completed her BSc(Hons) in Pharmacology in 1995 and PhD in Psychopharmacology in Prof David Nutt’s lab in 1999.  She was awarded an RCUK Academic Fellowship co-funded by the British Pharmacological Society Integrative Pharmacology Fund in 2005, part of this spent in Prof Trevor Robbins group at the University of Cambridge, Experimental Psychology Department.  Now based in Bristol’s School of Physiology and Pharmacology, Emma’s research focuses on studies to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive and emotional behaviour and how these may be disrupted in psychiatric disorders.

This talk is part of the Zangwill Club series.

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