Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In 1997, neuropsychological and neuroimaging evidence supported the involvement of the frontal lobes and indeed the brain in depression. This was a challenge to conventional phenomenology and linked with the imperative to use neuroscience to understand major mental illness. Since that time, we are seeing ever more convincing evidence for the genetic basis of mental illness (including depression), relevant abnormality in grey and white matter and neuropsychological analysis of brain function. It has proved more difficult to pin down structural abnormality in major depression at the cellular level, but a focus on glial cells is increasingly justified by the evidence. Neuroscience continues to be a buttress against anti-scientific impulses in psychiatry and can help attract young people to enter it as a profession.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England)

Publication Date





1090 - 1094


University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK