Serotonin News and Research

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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.
A new approach identified to control Zika virus, dengue fever

A new approach identified to control Zika virus, dengue fever

Antidepressant treatment may lead to improvements in sleep quality of patients with depression

Antidepressant treatment may lead to improvements in sleep quality of patients with depression

Eisai enters into agreement with Eurofarma for development and sales of lorcaserin in 17 countries

Eisai enters into agreement with Eurofarma for development and sales of lorcaserin in 17 countries

Researchers examine SSRI use during pregnancy and major gestational malformations

Researchers examine SSRI use during pregnancy and major gestational malformations

Study: Alterations in genes encoding proteins contribute to ADHD development

Study: Alterations in genes encoding proteins contribute to ADHD development

Antidepressants can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Antidepressants can be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Study suggests novel approach to treating adults with autism spectrum disorder

Study suggests novel approach to treating adults with autism spectrum disorder

Study highlights opposite effects of gene following different types of environmental events

Study highlights opposite effects of gene following different types of environmental events

Appetite-suppressant drug reduces diabetes risk and increases remission rates of blood sugar

Appetite-suppressant drug reduces diabetes risk and increases remission rates of blood sugar

Poor self-esteem associated with increased risk for opioid use

Poor self-esteem associated with increased risk for opioid use

Some people can avoid depression by maintaining serotonin level throughout the year

Some people can avoid depression by maintaining serotonin level throughout the year

Cancer undercuts ability of normal cells to consume glucose, finds study

Cancer undercuts ability of normal cells to consume glucose, finds study

Persistent lung inflammation from childhood asthma may increase risk of anxiety later in life

Persistent lung inflammation from childhood asthma may increase risk of anxiety later in life

Ecstasy drug makes octopuses more social

Ecstasy drug makes octopuses more social

Scientists report conserved role for serotonin in mediating social behavior in octopus, humans

Scientists report conserved role for serotonin in mediating social behavior in octopus, humans

Under the sea, in an octopus' garden on ecstacy - neuroresearch

Under the sea, in an octopus' garden on ecstacy - neuroresearch

Women with undiagnosed STIs may be at greater risk of negative premenstrual symptoms

Women with undiagnosed STIs may be at greater risk of negative premenstrual symptoms

Particular immune cell seems to play key role in determining male or female characteristics

Particular immune cell seems to play key role in determining male or female characteristics

Novel decoding technology could predict mood variations from brain signals

Novel decoding technology could predict mood variations from brain signals

Stress can permanently and profoundly impact connectivity of developing nerves

Stress can permanently and profoundly impact connectivity of developing nerves