Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Serotonin and depression

A “fact of the matter” may not exist in scientific narratives such as serotonin and depression

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 14 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2501
  1. Philip J Cowen, professor of psychopharmacology1
  1. 1University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK
  1. phil.cowen{at}

Healy’s observations on serotonin and depression make interesting, if familiar, reading.1 2 However, I was struck by the remarkable claim that the focus on serotonin has led to the “eclipse of cortisol” in mood disorder research. A quick search in Scopus with “cortisol” and “depression” …

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