In the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience, scientists report that mice lacking the ability to make serotonin in their brains (and thus should have been "depressed" by conventional wisdom) did not show depression-like symptoms. These findings suggest that serotonin is not a major player in the condition, and different factors must be involved. These results could dramatically alter how the search for new antidepressants moves forward in the future, the researchers conclude.
In the late 1980s, the now well-known antidepressant Prozac was introduced. The drug works mainly by increasing the amounts of one substance in the brain -- serotonin. So scientists came to believe that boosting levels of the signaling molecule was the key to solving depression. But now researchers know that 60 to 70 percent of these patients continue to feel depressed, even while taking the drugs.
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