Stress and Mood Disorders Research Group
An estimated 5%-10% of the Australia population suffer from an anxiety or depression, making these mood disorders one of the most prevalent mental health problems in Australia. Presently, the first choice pharmacological treatment for many mood, the serotonin reuptake inhibitors, have limited efficacy, with only 40-60% of patients responding to their medication, and regularly produce highly unpleasant side effects. It is obvious that improved medication options are urgently required. The development of new treatments, however, is being seriously hampered by our incomplete neurobiological understanding of emotion and emotional disorders. Given this situation, the broad aim of or research group is to expand our understanding of the neural pathways involved in emotion with a particular emphasis on stress and emotional disorders. In doing so, we hope to identify new and promising molecular and/or genetic candidates whose activity may be targeted to produce next generation anxiety and depression relieving compounds.
Some Recent Publications:
Hinwood, M, Day TA, Walker FR. Repeated social defeat selectively increases ?FosB expression and histone H3 acetylation in the infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex. Cerebral Cortex. 2009. In review. IF = 5.9
Walker FR, Masters LM, Dielenberg RA, Day TA. Coping with defeat: acute glucocorticoid and forebrain responses to social defeat vary with defeat episode behaviour. Neuroscience. 2009 Aug 18;162(2):244-53. Epub 2009 Apr 22. IF = 3.5
Walker, F.R., et al., Strain differences in coping behaviour, novelty seeking behaviour, and susceptibility to socially conditioned fear: A comparison between Wistar and Sprague Dawley rats. Stress, 2009. In Press: DOI: 10.1080/10253890802673134. IF = 2.9
Beig, M.I., Baumert, M., Walker, F.R et al., Blockade of 5HT2A receptors suppresses hypothermic but not cardiovascular responses to psychosocial stress. Neuroscience, 2009. In Press: DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.01.038. IF = 3.5
Walker, F.R., et al., Individual differences predict susceptibility to conditioned fear arising from psychosocial trauma. J Psychiatr Res, 2008. 42(5): p. 371-83. IF = 4.7.