Neurogenic hypothesis and psychiatric disorders

Wui Man Lau, Jada Chia Di Lee, Kwok Fai So

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Psychiatric illness, such as affective disorders, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia, exerts exceptional personal burden on affected individuals. Although not physically noticeable, these disorders cost enormously on ones' family and society. Currently pharmaceutical and psychological treatments are generally accepted as effective for psychiatric disorders, while the exact mechanisms underlying the treatment efficacy, etiology and neurobiology of the disorders remain elusive. In the past decade, "neurogenic hypothesis" emerged as an attempt to explain the nature of psychiatric illness. The origination of the hypothesis is based on several pre-clinical and clinical observations. First, stress, which is a common risk factor of the disorders, was found to suppress neurogenesis; second, treatment for the illnesses like antidepressants and antipsychotics were shown to improve neurogenesis and behavioral deficits simultaneously; and third, the therapeutic effect of antidepressants was abolished in animal models when neurogenesis was blocked. Increasing efforts were invested to determine whether neurogenesis is a key to the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders, although contrasting results are also found and thus the importance of neurogenesis remains a matter of debate. The present chapter will discuss the recent findings about the involvement of neurogenesis in major depression, anxiety disorders and schizophrenia, and whether neurogenesis would be a potential target for development of the treatment in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3188-3198
Number of pages11
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • amygdala
  • anxiety disorder
  • hippocampus
  • major depression
  • neurogenesis
  • psychiatric disorders
  • schizophrenia
  • subventricular zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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