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For patients with very severe depression, the benefit of medications over placebo is substantial.
But conventional wisdom is that tricyclics can be even more powerful than SSRIs for certain very severe hospitalized depression cases, and a lot of people think MAOIs worked better than anything out there today.
Psychiatrists denounced him, saying that you can choose pretty much whatever studies you want for a meta-analysis.
After biding his time for a decade, in 2008 he struck back with another meta-analysis, this being one of the first papers in all of medical science to take the audacious step of demanding all the FDA’s data through the Freedom of Information Act.
The whole thing became less tenable with the discovery that several chemicals that didn’t increase serotonin were also effective antidepressants – not to mention one chemical, tianeptine, that decreases serotonin.
Now the conventional wisdom is that depression is a very complicated disturbance in several networks and systems within the brain, and serotonin is one of the inputs and/or outputs of those systems.