Is mood chemistry?

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Mar;6(3):241-6. doi: 10.1038/nrn1629.


The chemical hypothesis of depression suggests that mood disorders are caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, which can be corrected by antidepressant drugs. However, recent evidence indicates that problems in information processing within neural networks, rather than changes in chemical balance, might underlie depression, and that antidepressant drugs induce plastic changes in neuronal connectivity, which gradually lead to improvements in neuronal information processing and recovery of mood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biogenic Monoamines / metabolism
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Mood Disorders / etiology
  • Mood Disorders / metabolism*
  • Neural Networks, Computer


  • Biogenic Monoamines