Biological treatments for depression

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Antidepressant drugs stimulate the productionof monoamine neurotransmitters, leading to increased physical arousal. Old fashioned antidepressant, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, stop seretonin, noradrenaline and dopamine being broken down, so their levels are increased, while tricyclics stop seretonin and noradrenaline being reabsorbed, so again their levels increase. Antidepressants are effective in treating depression but side effects such as drowsiness can be experienced. Modern antidepressants affect the level of monoamine - for example, prozac prevents seretonin being reabsorbed or broken down. There is no preffered drug, patients tend to respond differently to different drugs. The symptoms displayed and the side effects exhibited determine drug choice.

  • Furukawa et al (2003) found antidepressants to be more effective than placebos, suggesting that antidepressants are an effective treatment.
  • Kirsch (2008) found that new generation antidepressants work no


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