Skip to main content

How do antidepressants work? - Neil R. Jeyasingam


7,692 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

In the 1950s, the discovery of two new drugs sparked what would become a multi-billion dollar market for antidepressants. Neither drug was intended to treat depression at all— many doctors and scientists believed psychotherapy was the only approach to treatment. Neil R. Jeyasingam details the decades-long journey that followed and how it revolutionized our understanding of depression.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

The brain has been called the final frontier in medical research, and there have been incredible developments in the last fifty years. Serotonin isn’t the only neurotransmitter that has been identified as the most likely target for medication development. Medical research has identified other neurotransmitters and potential targets of action to treat depression. One of those neurotransmitters is Noradrenaline, which can be used to treat severe depression in patients. Learning about various neurotransmitters in the brain helps us to find causes of other mental illnesses in addition to depression. For instance, dopamine is another neurotransmitter and it’s believed that an overactive dopamine system can cause schizophrenia.

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Neil R. Jeyasingam
  • Director Skirmanta Jakaitė
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Art Director Skirmanta Jakaitė
  • Animator Skirmanta Jakaitė
  • Storyboard Artist Skirmanta Jakaitė
  • Compositor Skirmanta Jakaitė
  • Composer Salil Bhayani
  • Sound Designer Spencer Ward, cAMP Studio
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Production Coordinator Abdallah Ewis
  • Script Editor Emma Bryce
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma

More from Mind Matters