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Clinical staging: a necessary step in the development of improved animal models of mood disturbance?

Frederick Rohan Walker, Morgan H James, Ian B Hickie, Patrick D McGorry
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1461145713001107 491-495 First published online: 1 March 2014


Recently, it has been suggested that the clinical staging approach be considered a serious alternative framework for conceptualising mood related psychopathology. The fundamental difference between clinical staging and the now dominant categorical diagnostic framework is that the entire illness trajectory becomes relevant, as opposed to simply the end-stage. The concept of disease trajectory has significant implications for animal models of psychopathology, and particularly for animal models of depression. This article will introduce and discuss the implications of the clinical staging approach for those undertaking research using animal models of mood disturbance.

Key words
  • Animal models of depression
  • clinical staging
  • depression
  • mood disorders
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