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Research and Advances in Psychiatry

Anhedonia and positive affect in depressed patients. A qualitative overview

Review article, 39 - 49
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Abstract
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Depression is a mental disorder established on two cardinal symptoms: depressed mood and anhedonia, defined as the inability to experience pleasure in response to rewarding stimuli. From a psychopathological point of view, depression is characterized by emotional dysregulation. Scientific attention has been classically focused on depressive negative emotionality and its specific psychopharmacological treatments; symptoms like anhedonia and deficits in positive affect, predictors of a poor depression prognosis, have been less investigated maybe because the depressed have less resilience to negative life events. So, pharmacological and psychological therapies focusing on anhedonia and deficit in positive affect will represent the next advanced gold standard treatments.
Aim of this paper is to provide a qualitative over - view about anhedonia and positive affect in depression, focusing our attention on how they correlate one another, their neural circuits and how anhedonia can be appraised through test measurements.

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