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Depression causes a greater burden of disability than any other condition, yet it is widely undiagnosed and untreated. In this special collection of articles, Nature asks why that burden is so great, how science is helping and where research is running aground.

Image credit: Carl De Torres


  • The burden of depression

    Mental health is gaining acceptance as a medical problem, but progress in finding treatments is being hampered by the stigma surrounding people’s everyday experiences.

    Nature (12 November 2014)

News Features



  • The depths of depression

    Delve deeper into the statistics on depression and hear from an epidemiologist at the World Health Organisation on the first thing he’d do to address the problem.

    Nature (12 November 2014)

News & Views

  • Neurobiology: A molecular knife to dice depression

    Chronic stress can cause depression in some individuals, but leaves others untouched. Engagement of a molecular pathway controlling the production of tiny RNA snippets might help to explain the difference.

    Nature (12 November 2014)

  • Depression: The best way forward

    Conventional behavioural mouse models of depression are often used to study the disorder, but cannot capture the full picture of the human disease. Here, scientists present two views about the best research strategies to adopt if treatments are to be improved. Lisa M. Monteggia, Robert C. Malenka & Karl Deisseroth

    Nature (12 November 2014)

From the archive

  • Neuroscience: Tuning the brain

    Deep brain stimulation has shown promise in treating conditions such as Parkinson's disease. Now scientists are using the technology to eavesdrop on problem neural circuits.

    Nature (19 March 2014)

  • NIH rethinks psychiatry trials

    Mental-health division will no longer fund research aiming to relieve symptoms without probing underlying causes.

    Nature (14 March 2014)

  • No dishonour in depression

    The stigma associated with mental illness discourages investment in finding cures — even though the burden of the disorders on society is immense.

    Nature (12 June 2013)

  • Mental health: On the spectrum

    Research suggests that mental illnesses lie along a spectrum — but the field's latest diagnostic manual still splits them apart.

    Nature (24 April 2013)

  • Special: The autism enigma

    Nature sorts fact from fiction in this hot, but sometimes contentious, field: from the debate about soaring diagnoses, to the idea that scientists and engineers are at high risk of having a child with autism.

    Nature (02 November 2011)

  • Special: Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia is a condition experienced by over 0.5% of the world's population at some time in their lives, and has a debilitating impact on sufferers. This special issue highlights the state of play and opportunities for progress in understanding, diagnosing and treating the condition.

    Nature (10 November 2010)

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