Thursday, October 07, 2010

Serotonin and depression

I just couldn't resist reposting* this link to a blog that questions the relationship between serotonin levels and depression. The conventional wisdom is that antidepressants like sertraline and fluoxetine increase levels of serotonin in the brain and that's what alleviates depression. This blog asks why, then, antidepressants don't work right away, since they begin raising those levels immediately. And if you've ever started an antidepressant feeling rather desperate, you're extremely aware of every day it's not working.

It's all about neurogenesis, according to this blogger—the ability of the brain to generate new cells. Depression may be linked to lower levels of neurogenesis. One thing antidepressants do—after several weeks—is increase neurogenesis.

Fascinating stuff.

*Thanks to Carrie Arnold at Ed Bites for the original link.

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