Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter in the brain that has an enormous influence over many brain functions. It is synthesized, from the amino acid L-tryptophan, in brain neurons and stored in vesicles. Serotonin is found in three main areas of the body: the intestinal wall; large constricted blood vessels; and the central nervous system. The most widely studied effects have been those on the central nervous system. The functions of serotonin are numerous and appear to involve control of appetite, sleep, memory and learning, temperature regulation, mood, behavior (including sexual and hallucinogenic behavior), cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, endocrine regulation, and
Also research supports that ongoing stress impairs the growth of the nerve cell in the hippocampus. The amygdala is associated with emotions mainly fear and anger. With depressed individuals, a variety of scans show the amygdala to be very active and there is an increase in activity when the person is saddened or depressed. Even after affected people recovery, the increased activity in the amygdala is still present for a period of time. Another area of the body that research has determined plays a role with the development of depression is the endocrine system. The endocrine system is made up of small glands which are responsible for producing hormones and to release them into the bloodstream. The hormonal levels are keep constant and avoid
This was discovered when tests indicated that many patients better results with medications that affect the serotonin as well as the dopamine transmissions in the brain. (6)
Depressants are drugs that inhibit the function of the central nervous system (CNS) and are among the most widely used drugs in the world. These drugs operate by affecting neurons in the CNS: central nervous system, which leads to symptoms such as drowsiness, relaxation, decreased inhibition, sleep, coma, and even death. All depressants also have the potential to be addictive.
Serotonin is found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the central nervous system (CNS). Serotonin in the CNS affects learning, appetite, mood, and sleep. In the GI, it is used to control appetite and digestion. A few feelings come as a result of serotonin, such as happiness, relaxation, and security. Low serotonin levels can cause depression, anxiety, and
The cerebral cortex directs functions like speech, behavior, reactions, movement, thinking, and learning. In fact, some research suggests that bipolar disorder originates with problems with the thalamus, which links sensory input to good and bad feelings. The hippocampus also affects depression. It, like the amygdala, is part of the limbic system. It is vital in processing long-term memory. This section of the brain registers recurring fear. In people with clinical depression, the hippocampus is much smaller. Research suggests, even, that ongoing exposure to stress impairs the growth of nerve cells in this part of the brain. One of the most important jobs of the brain is to process senses, through neurons. Neurotransmitters are specific substances that help relay information to the brain. Scientists have identified many neurotransmitters that affect depression. A lack or excess of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, glutamate, lithium carbonate and gamma-aminobutyric acid are thought to contribute to depression. Acetylcholine is involved in learning and enhances memory. Serotonin helps regulate sleep, appetite, and mood, and inhibits pain. Research shows the idea that many depressed people have reduced levels of serotonin. Low levels of a byproduct of serotonin have been linked to a high risk for suicide. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter which constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. An excess in
While this writer had some rudimentary knowledge of the impact serotonin had on the brain, "Why? The Neuroscience of Suicide" by Carol Ezzell piqued my curiosity on the role levels of serotonin and the process by which it is absorbed in the brain affect suicidal patients. This article was recently posted on the Neurology and Behavior website as supplemental reading for neurology and behavior's spring semester 2003 class. In this article the writer Carol Ezzell weaves her own personal experience with informative reporting of groundbreaking neuroscience research on suicide. Through further research I discovered various articles on a group of scientists from Columbia
Researchers believe that changing the balance of serotonin helps to boost the mood of patients. Though most SSRIs are basically the same, each has its own unique chemical makeup. Because of this, patients may react differently to the various SSRI medications.
Pharmacological treatment is based on the evidence that serotonin is a key chemical involved in obsessive compulsive disorder. Studies have proven that serotonin based antidepressants have been evidently effective.
three groups.Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) medicines block the monoamine oxidase enzyme (MAO) from destroying monoamine neurotransmitters, which allows them to accumulate, alleviating depression. Serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications block the serotonin reuptake pump, allowing the serotonin neurotransmitter to remain and accumulate in the receptor for longer. Speaking of serotonin specifically, depression has been related to a deficiency of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) neurotransmitter as evidenced by the concentrations of the
Body temperature is maintained within a fairly regular range by the hypothalamus that is found in the brain. The hypothalamus