Serotonin News and Research RSS Feed - Serotonin News and Research

Serotonin is one of several chemical messengers in the brain, or neurotransmitters, which help brain cells communicate with one another. Among many other functions, serotonin is involved in regulating mood. Problems with making or using the right amount of serotonin have been linked to many mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, autism, and schizophrenia.

There are many genes that code for serotonin. Some of these genes guide serotonin production and other are involved in its activity. The serotonin transporter gene makes a protein that directs serotonin from the space between brain cells — where most neurotransmitters are relayed from one cell to another — back into cells, where it can be reused. Since the most widely prescribed class of medications for treating major depression acts by blocking this transporter protein, the gene has been a prime suspect in mood and anxiety disorders.

The serotonin transporter gene has many versions. Since everyone inherits a copy of this gene from each parent, a person may have two copies of the same version or one copy each of two different versions. One version of the serotonin transporter gene makes less protein, resulting in decreased transport of serotonin back into cells. This version has also long been the focus of depression research due to its suggested effect on risk.
WHI study shows no significant link between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms

WHI study shows no significant link between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society. [More]
Prenatal exposure to SSRIs linked with ASD and developmental delays in boys

Prenatal exposure to SSRIs linked with ASD and developmental delays in boys

In a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs, researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public health found that prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a frequently prescribed treatment for depression, anxiety and other disorders, was associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delays (DD) in boys. [More]
Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on genes of African American children

Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on genes of African American children

Stressful upbringings can leave imprints on the genes of children as young as age 9, according to a study led by Princeton University and Pennsylvania State University researchers. Such chronic stress during youth leads to physiological weathering similar to aging. [More]

New drug for treating Rett syndrome is on the horizon

A powerful new drug which could relieve the symptoms of devastating childhood disease Rett syndrome is on the horizon thanks to a funding injection of -180,000. [More]
New evidence indicates another risk factor for young adults consuming energy drinks

New evidence indicates another risk factor for young adults consuming energy drinks

Newfound evidence indicates another risk factor for young adults consuming energy drinks. A research team representing six American universities found that the frequency of energy drink use is associated with increased odds of illicit prescription stimulant medication use. [More]
Research points strong reason to develop new class of antidepressant drug

Research points strong reason to develop new class of antidepressant drug

Scientists have shown for the first time that a chemical in the brain called galanin is involved in the risk of developing depression. [More]
Nasal spray holds promise as potential alternative therapeutic approach for depression

Nasal spray holds promise as potential alternative therapeutic approach for depression

​A nasal spray that delivers a peptide to treat depression holds promise as a potential alternative therapeutic approach, research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows. [More]
Alkermes initiates pivotal clinical development program for treatment of MDD

Alkermes initiates pivotal clinical development program for treatment of MDD

Alkermes plc today announced the initiation of the pivotal clinical development program for ALKS 5461, a once-daily, oral investigational medicine with a novel mechanism of action for the adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). [More]
Intra-Cellular Therapies initiates Phase I/II clinical trial to evaluate pharmacokinetics in patients with dementia

Intra-Cellular Therapies initiates Phase I/II clinical trial to evaluate pharmacokinetics in patients with dementia

Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced the initiation of ITI-007-200, a Phase I/II clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of low doses of its lead drug candidate, ITI-007, in healthy geriatric subjects and in patients with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. [More]

Researchers underscore the need to curb designer drug use

In the span of a decade, Canada has gone from ecstasy importer to global supplier of the illegal party drug. [More]
Study demonstrates impact of vitamin D on social behavior linked with ASD

Study demonstrates impact of vitamin D on social behavior linked with ASD

A new study by Rhonda Patrick, PhD and Bruce Ames, PhD of Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) demonstrates the impact that Vitamin D may have on social behavior associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). [More]
Comorbid OCD and bipolar disorder should be treated as mood disorder

Comorbid OCD and bipolar disorder should be treated as mood disorder

Most patients with both bipolar disorder and obsessive–compulsive disorder should be treated as having bipolar disorder, researchers suggest. [More]

Variations in temperatures coupled with spikes in unemployment are risk factors for suicide in Australia

Researcher Xin Qi, from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, studied the socioenvironmental drivers of suicide rates in Australia over 20 years and found variations in temperatures coupled with spikes in unemployment were significant risk factors for suicide. [More]
New treatments for depression on the horizon

New treatments for depression on the horizon

New insights into the physiological causes of depression are leading to treatments beyond common antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, researchers are reporting in the in the journal Current Psychiatry. [More]
UCLA researchers awarded $6M grant to explore new therapies for spinal-cord injuries

UCLA researchers awarded $6M grant to explore new therapies for spinal-cord injuries

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering has awarded UCLA researchers Dr. Daniel Lu (Brentwood) and Dr. Reggie Edgerton (Bel Air) a $6 million, five-year grant to explore new therapies for the approximately 273,000 Americans living with spinal-cord injuries. Some 12,000 Americans suffer such injuries each year. [More]

Falling in love causes body to release feel-good chemicals that trigger specific physical reactions

Getting struck by Cupid's arrow may very well take your breath away and make your heart go pitter-patter this Valentine's Day, reports sexual wellness specialists at Loyola University Health System. [More]
Researchers locate two molecules involved in perpetuating chronic pain

Researchers locate two molecules involved in perpetuating chronic pain

Setting the stage for possible advances in pain treatment, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland report they have pinpointed two molecules involved in perpetuating chronic pain in mice. The molecules, they say, also appear to have a role in the phenomenon that causes uninjured areas of the body to be more sensitive to pain when an area nearby has been hurt. [More]
Forest Laboratories third quarter net sales increase 24.9% to $846.8 million

Forest Laboratories third quarter net sales increase 24.9% to $846.8 million

Forest Laboratories, Inc., a leading, fully integrated, specialty pharmaceutical company largely focused on the United States market, announced that reported diluted earnings per share equaled $0.07 in the third quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to a reported loss per share of ($0.58) in the third quarter of fiscal 2013. The third quarter of fiscal 2014 included a $45 million charge ($28.2 million net of tax) related to Project Rejuvenate. [More]

Neurovance announces interim results from phase 2a pilot study of EB-1020 SR in patients with all subtypes of ADHD

Neurovance Inc. today announced interim results from its phase 2a pilot study of EB-1020 SR in adult patients with all subtypes of ADHD. With the four week trial fully enrolled and dosing completed in the majority of patients, the results indicate a statistically significant improvement in ADHD symptoms. [More]
Study raises hopes for new drugs to treat brain disorders associated with neurotransmitter imbalance

Study raises hopes for new drugs to treat brain disorders associated with neurotransmitter imbalance

Although drugs have been developed that inhibit the imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain - a condition which causes many brain disorders and nervous system diseases - the exact understanding of the mechanism by which these drugs work has not yet been fully understood. [More]