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Bild på Shai Mulinari. Privat bild.

Shai Mulinari

Docent och Forskare

Bild på Shai Mulinari. Privat bild.

Let the drugs lead the way! : On the unfolding of a research programme in psychiatry

Författare

  • Shai Mulinari

Summary, in English

Following reports in the late 1950s of a correlation between the effects of psychotropic drugs on monoamine metabolism and on affective states, it became generally accepted that brain monoaminergic systems contributed to the pathophysiology of depression. After this, psychiatric researchers continued to pursue the neurochemical effects of antidepressants, hoping to gain novel insights into the biology of depression, what researchers themselves have referred to as the “pharmacological bridge”. In this way researchers repeatedly adapted their field’s theoretical framework to fit conflicting evidence without challenging underlying and highly questionable assumptions concerning the specificity of psychotropic drug treatments. The result is a series of depression theories, in which neuroplasticity theories are the most recent addition. The author employs Imre Lakatos’ concept of “research programme” to investigate this chronological sequence of theories. It is proposed that for over thirty years the pharmacological bridge provided direction to a psychiatric research programme; more recently, however, the pharmacological bridge has come under siege as new laboratory technologies, such as neuroimaging, have increasingly replaced drugs as standard tools to investigate neuropathophysiology. Thus, this work illustrates how the epistemological and technological aspects of research intertwine in the history of psychiatry in general and the field of depression in particular.

Avdelning/ar

  • Sociologi
  • Genusvetenskapliga institutionen

Publiceringsår

2018-12-06

Språk

Engelska

Sidor

289-302

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology

Volym

4

Issue

25

Dokumenttyp

Artikel i tidskrift

Förlag

Johns Hopkins University Press

Ämne

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Psychiatry
  • History of Ideas

Status

Published

Projekt

  • After the success with the new generation antidepressants: Experiences, practices, discourses and changes in the self.

ISBN/ISSN/Övrigt

  • ISSN: 1086-3303