There has been noteworthy research at the molecular and cellular-receptor level applied to basic, clinical, and pharmacotherapeutic issues, and at the organ level, with new imaging techniques for the study of brain structure and function.
Molecular and Receptor Studies
Depressive disorders can segregate along with HLA in families.1 This suggests a research strategy for linkage studies within pedigrees (rather than on broad populations) and for early detection of those at high risk. It also reflects the general strategy of the search for products or processes relevant to gene expression.2 In all of medicine there have been rapid advances in identification of cell surface receptors to which endogenous and foreign substances bind, and in the delineation of biochemical and biophysical signals regulating receptor number or affinity. So, too, in psychiatry. There is active study of the therapeutic3 and psychophysiological implications of peptidergic hormone and opiate receptors and ligands,
Freedman DX, Glass RM. Psychiatry. JAMA. 1982;247(21):2975–2977. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320460075031
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