Serotonin Pathology

Serotonin is a vital hormone in the normal functioning of the central nervous system. This neurotransmitter is a key regulator of various bodily functions including sleep, mood, appetite, intestinal movement, feeding and body weight.

Serotonin is also thought to play a role in some mental health disorders that may lead to problems such as suicidal tendencies, obsessive compulsive disorder, alcoholism, and anxiety. Some of the disorders that are thought to be related to the biosynthesis and availability of serotonin include:

  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) - Studies have shown that defective serotonin signalling in the brain could be responsible for sudden infant death.
  • Depression - Low levels of serotonin have been linked to clinical depression. Drugs that raise levels of serotonin in the synaptic cleft such as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) have been shown to improve symptoms of depression. Examples of these agents include fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and citalopram.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder - This describes a condition where a person has compulsive urges to carry out actions that might prevent something they are worried about becoming a reality. For example, they may repeatedly check doors or windows are locked because they are so worried about being burgled. SSRIs have also been successfully in the treatment of OCD.
  • Serotonin syndrome - This is a condition characterized by excessively high levels of serotonin, as an adverse effect of serotonergic therapy. This can be life threatening and lead to a severe rise in blood pressure. The syndrome usually occurs as a result of excessive activation of the serotonin receptors and some experts prefer the condition to be called serotonin toxicity or poisoning.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, February 27). Serotonin Pathology. News-Medical. Retrieved on October 21, 2019 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Serotonin-Pathology.aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Serotonin Pathology". News-Medical. 21 October 2019. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Serotonin-Pathology.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Serotonin Pathology". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Serotonin-Pathology.aspx. (accessed October 21, 2019).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Serotonin Pathology. News-Medical, viewed 21 October 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Serotonin-Pathology.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like... ×
Serotonin and anti-depressants can have a major effect on the gut's microbiota