AirTalk

Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more. Hosted by Larry Mantle

When it comes to depression, what are the limits of neuroscience?

by AirTalk

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The vast, complicated nature of the human brain make the intricacies of mental health and mental illness difficult to understand and to treat. /iStockphoto

The vast, complicated nature of the human brain make the intricacies of mental health and mental illness difficult to understand and to treat.

Depression is especially hard to take on -- with an incredibly wide range of symptoms, manifestations, and potential treatments, it’s hard to know what will work and when. The tragic death of renowned actor and comedian Robin Williams underscores how difficult coping with depression can be -- even for those who have every resource at their disposal, who understand their affliction, and who have the support and love of those around them, depression can feel insurmountable.

What do we understand about depression? What is still unknown? What are the neuroscientific limits of therapy, treatment, and understanding? What are the best ways to approach depression for those coping with it directly and for those with a friend or loved one who is suffering? 

Guest:

Dr. Andrew Leuchter, professor of psychiatry and director of the Laboratory of Brain, Behavior, and Pharmacology at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA.

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