The treatment of severe mental illness, and of psychiatric disorders in general, is limited in its efficacy and tolerability. There appear to be substantial interindividual differences in response to psychiatric drug treatments that are generally far greater than the differences between individual drugs; likewise, the occurrence of adverse effects also varies profoundly between individuals. These differences are thought to reflect, at least in part, genetic variability.
Despite intensive research over many years, the treatment of schizophrenia remains a major health issue. Current and emerging treatments for schizophrenia are based upon the classical dopamine and glutamate hypotheses of disease. Existing first and second generation antipsychotic drugs based upon the dopamine hypothesis are limited by their inability to treat all symptom domains and their undesirable side effect profiles. Third generation drugs based upon the glutamate hypothesis of disease are currently under evaluation but are more likely to be used as add on treatments.
Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is associated with poor psychological, medical, and socioeconomic outcomes. Although much has been learned about the etiology and treatment options of MDD over the past decade, there remain unanswered questions that pose challenges to improving acute and chronic outcomes for those with MDD. MDD is a clinically heterogeneous disorder.