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Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, et al., editors. Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects. 6th edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1999.

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Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects. 6th edition.

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Acetylcholine Mechanisms Have Been Implicated in Mood Disorders

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The cholinergic hypothesis [27] suggests that hyper- and hypocholinergic states induce depression and mania, respectively. Support for this hypothesis comes from the finding that acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and cholinomimetics produce depressive symptoms under certain conditions. Conversely, anticholinergic agents have some antidepressant and euphorigenic properties and anticholinergic toxicity can induce a state resembling mania. However, agents that act on cholinergic receptors are not very effective in the treatment of mood disorders. In an attempt to reconcile the data on the involvement of cholinergic and monoaminergic systems in the mood disorders, it has been proposed that an abnormal balance between cholinergic and monoaminergic systems might be critical in the development of depression and mania. Clinical studies of acetylcholine and its metabolites are limited by the current methodological difficulties involved in studying these systems. Investigation of cholinergic mechanisms has therefore focused on pharmacological challenge studies. Cholinergic transmission is discussed in Chapter 11.

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Copyright © 1999, American Society for Neurochemistry.
Bookshelf ID: NBK28139

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