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Animal models and human depressive disorders

By R. J. Katz

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Clinical depressive disorders are complex in presentation, dissimilar in origins and course, and often pleomorphic in character. An adequate understanding of their origins, biological substrates, and amenability to established and novel forms of therapy demands biological and social interventions which cannot always readily or ethically be carried out in a clinical setting. One useful complementary approach to clinical research utilizes preclinical models for laboratory investigations in parallel. The present paper reviews current approaches to modelling depression using animals, with particular emphasis upon phylogenetic constraints, systematic validity and reliability, and nosoiogical limitations. Preclinical models are useful and necessary adjuncts for adequately understanding depression in humans. However, their utility remains a direct function of a continuing dialogue between clinical and laboratory research, and demands scrupulous observation and methodological rigor on the part of both clinicians and experimental researchers.


Deborah Maron

Date 1981
Publication Title Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume 5
Pages 231-246
Language English
Notes This work, published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, can be found in University of Michigan's Deep Blue repository service:
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Affective disorders
  2. Affective symptoms
  3. Animal models
  4. Animal roles
  5. Biological rhythms
  6. Birds
  7. Cats
  8. Depression
  9. Health
  10. Hormones
  11. Mammals
  12. Observation
  13. substrates
  14. therapy