Publication: Rethinking the Use of Antidepressants to Treat Alcohol Use Disorders and Depression Comorbidity: The Role of Neurogenesis
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Patients with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are frequently treated with antidepressant drugs (ADs), but clinical evidence of their efficacy is contradictory. Considering that ADs are thought to produce their therapeutic effects partially by increasing hippocampal plasticity and neurogenesis (HN), and that both AUDs and depression share a potential for the disruption of these neuroplastic processes, one could reasonably wonder whether the poor efficacy of AD treatment could be explained by the inability of these drugs to exert their proper action in patients suffering from AUD or depression. In order to further clarify this question, this chapter aims to examine available data regarding the effect of ADs on behavioral and HN alterations related to alcohol abstinence, as a key period in which the treatment would be implemented and in which their potential effects on alcohol-related problems remain under controversy.