May 15, 2016
2 min watch

VIDEO: Recent neurobiology findings indicate commonality between substance abuse, depression

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ATLANTA — Anthony Grace, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, discusses the basic neurobiology of systems involved with substance abuse and depression and how these disorders may be related.

Psychiatric issues such as stress and substance abuse disorder activate the dopaminergic system. After this system is activated, an opponent process begins that leads to a long-term downregulation of the dopaminergic system.

“This opponent process seems to play a role in both stress-induced depression, the consequences of depression after chronic stress and the type of depression experienced after withdrawal from stimulant abuse,” Grace told

Interestingly, Grace and colleagues found that ketamine appears to normalize these systems after chronic stress and in models of depression, suggesting a commonality among these disorders.