Special |

Depression

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.

Content

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.

Editorial | | Nature

Cognitive behavioural therapy is the best-studied form of psychotherapy. But researchers are still struggling to understand why it works.

News Feature | | Nature

The transcriptional regulator β-catenin has been implicated in neurological and psychiatric diseases, including depression. Eric Nestler and colleagues show that β-catenin in D2-type medium spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens — an important brain reward region — mediates resilience to stress in mice. Transcriptional activity of β-catenin is reduced both in tissue taken post mortem from depressed humans and in mice that are susceptible to chronic stress. The authors also identify Dicer1 as a critical β-catenin target gene involved in mediating resilience, suggesting a novel regulatory mechanism for microRNA processing in the mature brain.

News & Views | | Nature

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.

News & Views | | Nature

From the archive

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.

News Feature | | Nature

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

Editorial | | Nature

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

News Feature | | Nature