Glossary of Terms


– a class of drugs used or tending to relieve or prevent psychic depression1


– any of the powerful tranquilizers used especially to treat psychosis and believed to act by blocking dopamine nervous receptors1

depressive episode

– a manifestation of a major mood disorder involving an enduring period of some or all of the following signs: significant sadness, tearfulness, decreased appetite, weight loss, sleep and energy disturbance, psychomotor agitation or retardation, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, decreased concentration, thoughts of death, and suicidal ideation3

medical food

– a food which is formulated to be consumed or administered enterally under the supervision of a physician and which is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, are established by medical evaluation4


– one of the cells that constitute nervous tissue, that have the property of transmitting and receiving nervous impulses, and that are composed of somewhat reddish or grayish protoplasm with a large nucleus containing a conspicuous nucleolus, irregular cytoplasmic granules, and cytoplasmic processes which are highly differentiated frequently as multiple dendrites or usually as solitary axons and which conduct impulses toward and away from the nerve cell body—called also nerve cell1


– a substance that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse (the point at which the nerve impulse passes from one neuron to another)1


– treatment of mental or emotional disorder or maladjustment by psychological means especially involving verbal communication (as in psychoanalysis, nondirective psychotherapy, reeducation, or hypnosis)1

psychotropic drug

– any drug capable of affecting the mind, emotions, and behavior2


– a recurrence of illness ; especially : a recurrence of symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement1


– a state or period during which the symptoms of a disease are abated1


– the re-absorption of a secreted substance by the cell that originally produced and secreted it2

selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

– drugs that work by altering the amount of a chemical in the brain called serotonin.5 Including: Celexa® (Citalopram); Lexapro® (Escitalopram); Prozac®, Prozac Weekly®, Sarafem® (Fluoxetine); Paxil®, Paxil CR®, Pexeva® (Paroxetine); Zoloft® (Sertraline); Symbyax® (Fluoxetine combined with the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine).*

serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

– serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) ease depression by affecting chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) used to communicate between brain cells. SNRIs block the absorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain5

therapeutic dose

– the amount of a drug needed to treat a disease1

unipolar depression / major depressive disorder

– a mood disorder having a clinical course involving one or more episodes of serious psychological depression that last two or more weeks each, do not have intervening episodes of mania or hypomania, and are characterized by a loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities and by some or all of disturbances of appetite, sleep, or psychomotor functioning, a decrease in energy, difficulties in thinking or making decisions, loss of self-esteem or feelings of guilt, and suicidal thoughts or attempts1


* Lexapro® is a registered trademark of Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prozac®, Prozac Weekly®, and Symbyax® are registered trademarks of Eli Lilly and Company. Sarafem® is a registered trademark of Warner Chilcott Company, LLC. Paxil® and Paxil CR® are registered trademarks of GlaxoSmithKline. Pexeva® is a registered trademark of Noven Therapeutics, LLC. Zoloft® is a registered trademark of Pfizer, Inc.

** Cymbalta® is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company. Effexor®, Effexor XR®, and Pristiq® are registered trademarks of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc.