Around a quarter of those suffering from schizophrenia also struggle with depression. Since around one in ten people with schizophrenia commit suicide, effective treatment for depressive episodes is crucial. Scientists have begun to question the effectiveness of antidepressants marketed by pharmaceutical giants, since not all trial data have been made public. Research teams are therefore running their own tests to validate drug efficacy. This scan highlights a study aimed at understanding how antidepressants work in the brain. The red regions of the brain scan on the right indicate where there are changes in the amount of a neurotransmitter called serotonin caused by a single dose of citalopram, a commonly used antidepressant.
Written by Brona McVittie
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.