Over the past few decades the involvement of neurosteroids in brain function and mental health has attracted much interest, not only from a neuroscience perspective, but also from clinical and therapeutic aspects. In recent years, much of the research has focused on the multifunctional position of neurosteroids in the nervous system. The areas that have been explored, in particular, are the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the activity of neurosteroids in the brain, the role of neurosteroids in brain development, neurodegeneration and neuroplasticity, and their pharmacological properties. The large increase in the number of publications highlights this amplified interest in neurosteroids. Over the last 7 years at least 400 papers have been published describing the putative role of neurosteroids in the modulation of basic brain function and in the etiology and treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. Contributors to this book are amongst the most active basic researchers and c- nicians in the field and provide new perspectives not only clarifying some of the ongoing controversies, but also proposing diverse aspects and new insights. The book is organized in two major sections: “Neuroactive steroids and brain function’, and ‘Neuroactive steroids and neuropsychiatric disorders”. Though the selection of topics has been influenced by the current state of the art and the issues that require further elaboration, one should not assume that these are the only significant issues at this time.
Relevance of neurosteroids to neuropsychiatric disorders
The multi-functional position of neurosteroids in the nervous system
Neurosteroids as pharmacological agents
The role of neurosteroids in brain development, neurodegeneration and neuroplasticity
The cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the activity of neurosteroids in the brain
Neuroactive Steroids and Brain Functions.- Neurosteroid: Molecular Mechanisms of Action on the GABAA Receptor.- Steroid Metabolism in Glial Cells.- Involvement of Neuroactive Steroids in Hippocampal Disorders: Lessons from Animal Models.- Estrogen Modulation of Visceral Nociception.- Neuroactive Steroids: Effects on Cognitive Functions.- Estrogen, Cholinergic System and Cognition.- Local Production of Estrogen and its Rapid Modulatory Action on Synaptic Plasticity.- Effects of Estradiol and DHEA on Morphological Synaptic Plasticity.- Pregnane Steroids and Short-Term Neural Plasticity.- Steroidogenesis and Neuroplasticity in the Songbird Brain.- Dehydroepiandrosterone, as Endogenous Inhibitor of Neuronal Cell Apoptosis: Potential Therapeutic Implications in Neurodegenerative Diseases.- DHEA and DHEA-S, and their Functions in the Brain and Adrenal Medulla.- Neurosteroids in the Aging Brain.- Neuroactive Steroids and Neuropsychiatric Disorders.- Dehydroepiandrosterone and Pregnenolone Alterations in Schizophrenia.- Neurosteroids in Cortical Development and the Etiology of Schizophrenia.- Neurosteroid Perturbation and Neuropsychiatric Symptoms in Schizophrenia: From the Mechanisms to the Treatment.- Dehydroepiandrosterone Administration in Treating Medical and Neuropsychiatric Disorders.- Allopregnanolone and Pregnenolone Alterations Following Pharmacological Agents in Rodents and Clinic Populations.- Reconsidering Classifi cations of Depression Syndromes: Lessons from Neuroactive Steroids and Evolutionary Sciences.- Neuroactive Steroids in Brain and Relevance to Mood.- The Role of Neuroactive Steroids in Anxiety Disorders.- The Role of Midbrain 3?,5?-THP in Mediating Exploration, Anxiety, Social, and Reproductive Behavior.- The Role of Progesterone and its Metabolites in Premenstrual Disorders of Affect.- Neurosteroid Derangement in Women Diagnosed with Eating Disorders.- Neurosteroids in Alcohol and Substance Use.- The Role of Neurosteroids in Development of Pediatric Psychopathology.