Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health illnesses, affecting 264 million and 284 million people worldwide, respectively – equivalent to 3.4% and 3.8% of the global population. However, it’s thought that many cases are unreported – the real figures are expected to be double what is recorded. What’s going on at a molecular level in the brain during depression and anxiety? How does medication change this?
Mental health is the sum of our psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. Combined, these help us cope with life’s difficulties. Yet a worryingly substantial proportion of the population will suffer from poor mental health at some point in their lives. This is the first in a series of blogs exploring the molecular basis of mental health, and how a molecular perspective can help develop new treatments.