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Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a highly heterogeneous mental disorder, and its complex etiology and unclear mechanism are great obstacles to the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Studies have shown that abnormal functions of the visual cortex have been reported in MDD patients, and the actions of several antidepressants coincide with improvements in the structure and synaptic functions of the visual cortex. In this review, we critically evaluate current evidence showing the involvement of the malfunctioning visual cortex in the pathophysiology and therapeutic process of depression. In addition, we discuss the molecular mechanisms of visual cortex dysfunction that may underlie the pathogenesis of MDD. Although the precise roles of visual cortex abnormalities in MDD remain uncertain, this undervalued brain region may become a novel area for the treatment of depressed patients. © 2023. Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Fangfang Wu, Qingbo Lu, Yan Kong, Zhijun Zhang. A Comprehensive Overview of the Role of Visual Cortex Malfunction in Depressive Disorders: Opportunities and Challenges. Neuroscience bulletin. 2023 Sep;39(9):1426-1438

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PMID: 36995569

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