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Monoamine theories of depression: historical impact on biomedical research

Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 366-392
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Volym: 21
Nummer: 4
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Psychology Press


Monoamine theories associate depression with reduced brain monoamine levels. These theories achieved broad popularity in the mid-1960s. The present article reviews the historical development of monoamine theories and their subsequent impact on biomedical research. Alleged divisions between West European and U.S. researchers over competing versions of the theories are investigated using bibliometrics. Subsequently, the application of monoamine theories in the NIMH Collaborative Program on the Psychobiology of Depression is covered. The paper argues that the impact of monoamine theories is best explained by the ability of researchers, governmental agencies and pharmaceutical companies to invoke theories that advance various projects and agendas.


  • Gender Studies
  • depression
  • biological psychiatry
  • history
  • monoamine hypothesis
  • monoamine theory
  • Psychobiology of Depression Program
  • NIMH
  • bibliometrics


  • After the success with the new generation antidepressants: Experiences, practices, discourses and changes in the self.
  • ISSN: 0964-704X

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