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Introduction. Understanding Depression and Its Treatment: Restoration of Chemical Balance or Creation of Conditions Promoting Recovery?

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Whether antidepressants exert their action by correction of a monoamine deficiency or lesion or by upregulation or augmentation of intact monoamine systems is a matter of some debate. A satellite symposium entitled "Understanding Depression: Restoration of Chemical Imbalance or Augmentation of Social Functioning?" was held on October 31, 1998, at the 11th Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) in Paris, France, to explore the evidence for both sides of this argument. Following an overview of the history and evolution of the monoamine hypothesis of depression, the case for each viewpoint was presented, supported by talks covering the clinical and biochemical evidence.’ ‹


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