Chairman: Dennis Murphy, 1986
Depression is a common and often debilitating affective disorder. Attempts to develop effective antidepressants have a long history, but many questions remain about the mechanisms of action of such treatments and about the aetiology and pathophysiology of depression itself. Early observations centred attention on central monoamine systems, and animal studies suggested that changes in beta-adrenoceptor responsiveness were a common effect of antidepressant therapies. More recent research has encompassed many different central and peripheral receptors, time-dependent adaptational events at synapses, and the functional significance of changes in neurotransmitter systems in both humans and experimental animals. Such pharmacological studies aimed ultimately at elucidating the neurochemical basis of depression and of promoting new therapeutic approaches, provide the focus of this symposium volume. Many different methods of investigating the links between monoamine systems, depression and antidepressant treatments are described. Recent studies of receptors and of monoamine uptake sites in the brain and the periphery (e.g. in platelets and fibroblasts) are reviewed, with emphasis on alpha and beta adrenoceptors, [3H]imipramine-binding sites and serotonin receptors. The results of monitoring amine metabolites in cerebrospinal fluid and of measuring neuroendocrine, physiological and behavioural responses to pharmacological challenge are presented, providing information on monoaminergic function in depressed patients and experimental animals before, during and after treatment with antidepressant drugs or electroconvulsive shock. Genetic influences on receptor density are also discussed, as is the relevance to human depressive illness of animal models, including stress-induced behavioural depression in rats and responses to social stressors in rhesus monkeys.
This book should be of interest to neuropharmacologists, psychopharmacologists, clinical pharmacologists, behavioural scientists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists.
Chairman: Stuart B. Levy, 1997
Over the last 50 years, the rapid increase in the use of antibiotics, not only in people, but also in animal husbandry and agriculture, has delivered a selection unprecedented in the history of evolution. Consequently, society is facing one of its gravest public health problems-the emergence of infectious bacteria with resistance to many, and in some cases all, available antibiotics. This book brings together a multidisciplinary group of experts to discuss this problem. It begins by examining the origins of resistance and goes on to look at how the use of antibiotics in human medicine and farming/agriculture has selected for resistant bacteria. Separate chapters describe the evolution of resistance determinants and how these are spread both within and between bacterial species. Finally, the book contains discussions on strategies for countering the threat of antibiotic resistance. A major re-thinking of our approach to the treatment of infectious diseases is proposed-that antibiotic resistance should be seen as a problem created by the disruption of normal microbial ecology. To restore efficacy to earlier antibiotics, and to maintain the success of new antibiotics that are introduced, we need to use these drugs in a way that ensures an ecological balance that favours the predominance of susceptible bacteria.