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    New Study Claims Depression Is Not Caused By Chemical Imbalance, Contradicting Earlier Beliefs

    Depression has become one of the major problems in today’s world. It is believed that more than 23 million adults and adolescents each year in the U.S. are developing the problem. It is the leading cause of suicide as well.

    Previously, it was the notion that depression was caused due to chemical imbalances in the brain, and thus, antidepressants were prescribed to combat it. However, a recent study has contradicted that belief and proved some interesting new facts.

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    All About The Study On Depression

    It is not related to serotonin

    Recently a study was done by Joanna Moncrieff of University College London and colleagues to discover whether chemical imbalance is the real reason behind depression. Previously, it was believed that it is directly linked to the lowering of serotonin levels in the brain. Thus antidepressants were administered to maintain the serotonin level.

    In the study, researchers compared the levels of serotonin and its products alongside variations in genes involved in serotonin transport for depressed versus non-depressed people. Not only that, they even artificially lowered serotonin levels to establish a link between low serotonin and depression.

    The study concluded that, “The main areas of serotonin research provide no consistent evidence of there being an association between serotonin and depression, and no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations.”

    Lead author Joanna Moncrieff said, “I think we can safely say that after a vast amount of research conducted over several decades, there is no convincing evidence that depression is caused by serotonin abnormalities, particularly by lower levels or reduced activity of serotonin… Many people take antidepressants because they have been led to believe their depression has a biochemical cause, but this new research suggests this belief is not grounded in evidence.”

    What Is The Cause Of Depression?

    The cause of the problem

    According to the study, there is a link between depression and traumatic events in life. This proves that external environmental conditions have more effect on the mental health condistion than internal brain processes.

    Moncrieff noted, “One interesting aspect in the studies we examined was how strong an effect adverse life events played in depression, suggesting low mood is a response to people’s lives and cannot be boiled down to a simple chemical equation.”

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    Ahana Modak
    Ahana Modak
    Ahana is a movie buff currently working at First Curiosity Entertainment section. She is a prefinal year MBBS student. After long hours of hospital duty you can find her in a corner drowned in a movie or some new series that she found after reading multiple reviews. If by any chance she is in mood for something different she reads fiction books to relax herself.

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