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Serotonin theory of depression should be abandoned

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Share this article The serotonin theory of depression should be discarded as there is no credible evidence to support it according to a recent review

The serotonin theory (ST) of depression should no longer be promoted since there is a distinct lack of credible supportive evidence according to the findings of a recent umbrella review by an international group based at the Division of Psychiatry, University College London, London, UK.

The selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressant drugs which include fluoxetine, citalopram and sertraline and commonly used in the treatment of depression. The mode of action of SSRIs is described as inhibition of the re-uptake of serotonin, thereby increasing activity of the neurotransmitter. In other words, the concept of depression is predicated on the ST, i.e., low levels of the transmitter lead to depression although this premise has been challenged in recent years . Nevertheless, the concept of a chemical imbalance as an underlying cause of depression is a widespread belief among the general public and also, it seems among healthcare professionals. In a survey of 66 UK general practitioners, 23% strongly agreed and 54% agreed that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance . […]

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