Animal Models of Depression: Validation Criteria and Relevance in Translational Experimental Neurobiology
Defining major depressive disorder both in its clinical and in its experimental extents is an actual problem that involves linguistic problems. Additionally, percentage of refractory patients proves the therapeutics of depression as a defiant factor within its clinical complexity. As a matter of fact, there are considerable difficulties between the world of experimental neurobiology and clinical practice. A translational paradigm in medicine aims to minimize the distance between experimental results in basic research and clinical practice. Regarding neuropsychiatric disorders, series of analytical tools for validating the methods and the results coming from experimental research are needed. Aiming to it, we’ll examine a conceptual framework which consists of a series of criteria that stands in between the two worlds. These criteria have had a divergent conceptual evolution through the last decades. They resulted in a heterogeneous theoretical status. It may be attributed to the modifications in the design paradigms of animal models latterly conceived as tending to reproduce human processes of disease. The consequent challenge to be faced will be validating experimental methods and results following a series of updated criteria that could take into account the depression diathesis paradigm. This paradigm considers the genetic predisposition to disease and the interaction between the individual and environmental stimuli. All these facts lead to the main objective of this chapter, which is to provide an analytical and critical elaboration of the validation criteria as well as a comparative confrontation between the most recent paradigms and their most classical conceptions. According to this proposal, it is reasonable to assume that studying the tools for validating methodological research is a constitutive aspect to the notion of scientific understanding itself.
KeywordsDepressive disorder Animal models Translational research
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