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Making Sense of Rodent Models of Anhedonia

December 19, 2018 11:39 | CINP Office (Administrator)

A markedly reduced interest or pleasure in activities previously considered pleasurable is a main symptom in mood disorder and psychosis and is often present in other psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. This condition can be labeled as “anhedonia,” although in its most rigorous connotation the term refers to the lost capacity to feel pleasure that is one aspect of the complex phenomenon of processing and responding to reward. The responses to rewarding stimuli are relatively easy to study in rodents, and the experimental conditions that consistently and persistently impair these responses are used to model anhedonia. To this end, long-term exposure to environmental aversive conditions is primarily used, and the resulting deficits in reward responses are often accompanied by other deficits that are mainly reminiscent of clinical depressive symptoms.

Simona Scheggi; Maria Graziella De Montis; Carla Gambarana.

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