Sleep deprivation increases the levels of serotonin 2A neurotransmitter receptors within 6 - 8 hours. Abnormal serotonin 2A receptor function is associated with hallucinations, cognitive impairment, and is linked to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.
The placebo effect combined with dopamine levels can determine whether symptoms of depression and social anxiety will improve in patients prescribed SSRI antidepressants. Researchers found the positive effect of the medications was four times higher in patients with high expectations the treatment would work compared to those with lower expectations.
Serotonin-producing neurons in the brainstem release serotonin throughout the brain during moments of novel social encounters. The release of serotonin stimulates neurons in the medial septum via a subtype of serotonin-sensitive receptor molecules. Blocking the release of this receptor molecule prevents the formation of new social memories.
Increased accumulation of amyloid beta and a reduction of serotonin in the brains of older adults was associated with higher risks for developing depression later in life.
Prucalopride, a medication commonly prescribed to treat constipation, may help improve memory and cognition. People prescribed the drug for 6 days performed better in memory tests and had increased activity in brain areas associated with cognition.
Researchers identified specific receptors for acetylcholine that reroute information flow through memory circuits in the hippocampus. The findings could have implications for the development of drugs to help enhance or protect memory from diseases associated with cognitive decline.
Lower cholesterol levels may put people with schizophrenia at higher risk for violent behaviors, including self-harm and suicide. Researchers say lower cholesterol levels make brain cells less sensitive to serotonin, increasing symptoms of depression, impulsivity, and aggression.
A new study adds to the growing body of research linking inflammation to depression. Researchers found the molecule histamine directly inhibits the release of serotonin in the brain by attaching to inhibitory receptors on serotonin neurons in mice.