Abnormal 5-HT neuroendocrine function in depression: association or artefact?

P. J. Cowen and I. M. Anderson

in 5-Hydroxytryptamine in Psychiatry

Published in print February 1991 | ISBN: 9780192620118
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724725 | DOI:
Abnormal 5-HT neuroendocrine function in depression: association or artefact?

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The indoleamine hypothesis of depression was formulated over twenty years ago, but consistent evidence for abnormal brain 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) function in depressed patients is still lacking. Part of the reason for this is the difficulty of investigating the biochemistry of the human brain in vivo. While post-mortem investigations allow a direct examination of brain 5-HT metabolism in patients with an ante-mortem diagnosis of depression, results from such investigations are still extremely conflicting. There is strong evidence that 5-HT neuroendocrine responses are abnormal in depression, this factor does not seem a likely explanation for the more common finding of blunted 5-HT neuroendocrine responses.

Keywords: indoleamine hypothesis; depression patients; post-mortem investigation; 5-HT metabolism; ante-mortem; neuroendocrine responses

Chapter.  7219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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