x
Breaking News
More () »

A recent study is challenging the link between depression and serotonin

The study concluded that there is no convincing evidence that depression is associated with or caused by lower serotonin concentrations or activity.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry gathered evidence from 17 systematic reviews and studies, in addition to data from thousands of people both with and without depression. The study concluded that there is no convincing evidence that depression is associated with or caused by lower serotonin concentrations or activity.

“As science progresses and we identify these theories, these thoughts that we have and then we try to flesh through science, we probably will find that hey, we were looking at it wrong," said John Shand with WellSpan. 

Experts say the reasons for depression are multifactorial. 

“There’s many different reasons. There’s the biological, there’s the psychological, there’s the social. So we think that these all interact to cause the depression," said Leopoldo Vocalan with Lancaster General Health. 

It’s the first part, the biological, where the theory of chemical imbalance, specifically serotonin, comes into play.

“There was this idea that serotonin, which is one of our neurotransmitters, may be playing a part in this, because serotonin is molecules that helps us with all sorts of rhythms and one of them includes happiness," explained Shand.

Some believe this study may bring into question the efficacy of antidepressants. But, experts want to emphasize that the new study on serotonin and depression isn’t about antidepressants.

“Doesn’t mean that the medications that we’re using that’s supposed to increase serotonin in the brain doesn’t work because that’s a separate set of research proving that those types of medication work," said Vocalan.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that our medication doesn’t work and it doesn’t necessarily mean that our treatment approaches don’t work," Shand said.

Experts say that if you’re taking antidepressants, it’s very important you don’t stop doing so without speaking to your doctor first.

Download the FOX43 app.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out