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.
New insight could help develop novel and more effective antidepressant drugs

New insight could help develop novel and more effective antidepressant drugs

Snapchat dysmorphia - 'selfie-face' aspirations see rise in plastic surgery requests

Snapchat dysmorphia - 'selfie-face' aspirations see rise in plastic surgery requests

Study looks into mechanisms that control sleep and wakefulness

Study looks into mechanisms that control sleep and wakefulness

Depression and anxiety in heart failure patients linked to adverse outcomes

Depression and anxiety in heart failure patients linked to adverse outcomes

Psychedelics and their role in treatment of mental health disorders

Psychedelics and their role in treatment of mental health disorders

New therapeutic may help drug addicts avoid future drug use

New therapeutic may help drug addicts avoid future drug use

A small molecule can inhibit chemotherapy resistance of certain tumors

A small molecule can inhibit chemotherapy resistance of certain tumors

Suicide at higher altitudes unlikely to be caused by hypoxia

Suicide at higher altitudes unlikely to be caused by hypoxia

Serotonin enhances speed of learning, study finds

Serotonin enhances speed of learning, study finds

Genetically engineered bacteria shows promise as new treatment for constipation

Genetically engineered bacteria shows promise as new treatment for constipation

Genetic mutation shown to cause bipolar disorder

Genetic mutation shown to cause bipolar disorder

Researchers identify new form of depression

Researchers identify new form of depression

ANT1 mutations connect bipolar disorder with mitochondrial dysfunction

ANT1 mutations connect bipolar disorder with mitochondrial dysfunction

New program to help people struggling with food addiction

New program to help people struggling with food addiction

Serotonin stimulation may improve patience, mice study shows

Serotonin stimulation may improve patience, mice study shows

Researchers seek new approaches to better protect the eye from glaucoma

Researchers seek new approaches to better protect the eye from glaucoma

Male depression reduces the chances of getting pregnant, finds new study

Male depression reduces the chances of getting pregnant, finds new study

National trial shows how high-tech strategies may change the field of mental health

National trial shows how high-tech strategies may change the field of mental health

Scientists reveal active role of IgG antibodies in severity of anaphylaxis

Scientists reveal active role of IgG antibodies in severity of anaphylaxis

Researchers identify serotonin receptor that could be targeted to boost memory

Researchers identify serotonin receptor that could be targeted to boost memory