No evidence that depression is caused by low serotonin levels

After decades of study, there remains no clear evidence that serotonin levels or serotonin activity are responsible for depression, according to a major review of prior research led by UCL scientists.

This has implications for the treatment of depression. The popularity of the ‘chemical imbalance’ theory of depression has coincided with a huge increase in the use of antidepressants. Prescriptions for antidepressants have risen dramatically since the 1990s, with one in six adults in England now being prescribed an antidepressant in a given year.

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