PhD defense: Maryam Ardalan
Friday 9th September at 14.00, Maryam Ardalan will defend her PhD thesis ”The Influence of Rapid-acting Antidepressants on the Neuronal and Non-neuronal Plasticity of the Hippocampus in a Genetic Rat Model of Depression”.
A new PhD project from TNU, Aarhus University shows that the neuronal and glial plasticity of the hippocampus is involved in the rapid and sustained antidepressant effect of ketamine. This project was carried out by Maryam Ardalan, who is defending her dissertation on the 9th of September.
The main obstacle in the treatment of patients with major depression is delayed clinical improvement. Ketamine is, however, a rapid glutamatergic antidepressant drug with an onset of action within 2 hours. To develop novel antidepressant drugs with a rapid onset of action, it is essential to increase our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant action of ketamine. No study has previously investigated the neuronal and non-neuronal plasticity of the hippocampus underlying the rapid and sustained antidepressant effect of ketamine. In her recently completed PhD project, however, Maryam showed that astroglial and vascular as well as neuronal plasticity of the hippocampus is involved in the rapid therapeutic effect of ketamine in a genetic rat model of depression. Moreover, previous studies have shown that the prevalence of depression is higher among women than men. In her PhD project, Maryam, for the first, time shows that the rapid influence of ketamine on the morphological plasticity of hippocampal astrocytes is sex-dependent.
The defense is public and takes place on the 9th of September in the Auditorium at Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov (entrance 30), Skovagervej 2, 8240 Risskov. The title of the project is “The Influence of Rapid-acting Antidepressants on the Neuronal and Non-neuronal Plasticity of the Hippocampus in a Genetic Rat Model of Depression”. For further information, please contact PhD student Maryam Ardalan (Maryam.email@example.com, +4522773594).