Current Serotonin News and Events

Current Serotonin News and Events, Serotonin News Articles.
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Researchers uncover new information on the effects of antidepressants
The findings of a new study challenge the prevailing thinking on the primary role of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the effects of antidepressants. (2021-02-18)

Tiny population of neurons may have big role in depression
Medical College of Georgia scientists and their colleagues report the first evidence that, not short-term stress, like a series of tough college exams, rather chronic, unpredictable stress like that which erupts in our personal and professional lives, induces changes in the function of AgRP neurons that may contribute to depression (2021-02-11)

Nutrition, companionship reduce pain in mice with sickle cell disease, UCI-led study finds
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the University of Minnesota have found that an enriched diet and companionship can reduce pain in mice with sickle cell disease by increasing serotonin. They also discovered that duloxetine, an antidepressant that boosts serotonin levels, could be an alternative to opioids in treating chronic pain. (2021-02-01)

How dietary choice influences lifespan in fruit flies
Having a choice of foods may accelerate aging and shorten the lifespan of fruit flies, according to a study published today in the open-access eLife journal. (2021-01-19)

AI-designed serotonin sensor may help scientists study sleep and mental health
In an article in Cell, National Institutes of Health-funded researchers described how they used advanced genetic engineering techniques to transform a bacterial protein into a new research tool that may help monitor serotonin transmission with greater fidelity than current methods. Preclinical experiments, primarily in mice, showed that the sensor could detect subtle, real-time changes in brain serotonin levels during sleep, fear, and social interactions, as well as test the effectiveness of new psychoactive drugs. (2020-12-23)

Researchers discover brain pattern that could improve mental health disorder diagnosis
A pattern in how the brain breaks down tryptophan, a common amino acid consumed through food, was discovered by researchers at UTHealth. (2020-12-17)

Whole genomes map pathways of chimpanzee and bonobo divergence
Chimpanzees and bonobos are sister species that diverged around 1.8 million years ago as the Congo River formed a geographic boundary and they evolved in separate environments. Now, a whole-genome comparison of bonobos and chimpanzees reveals the gene pathways associated with the striking differences between the two species' diets, sociality and sexual behaviors. (2020-12-16)

Gut microbes: a key to normal sleep
Researchers at the University of Tsukuba used a cocktail of antibiotics to deplete gut microbes in mice. They found that metabolites in the gut differed in these mice compared with controls. In particular, metabolic pathways involved in making important neurotransmitters like serotonin were affected. Additionally, these mice showed abnormal day-night distribution in sleep/wake patterns, particularly the amount of REM sleep, and frequent transitions between REM and non-REM sleep episodes. (2020-11-30)

Scientists reveal regions of the brain where serotonin promotes patience
In a study on mice conducted by the Neural Computation Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), the authors, Dr. Katsuhiko Miyazaki and Dr. Kayoko Miyazaki, pinpoint specific areas of the brain that individually promote patience through the action of serotonin. (2020-11-27)

Effect of fluvoxamine vs placebo on clinical deterioration in outpatients with symptomatic COVID-19
This randomized trial compares the effects of fluvoxamine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor with immunomodulatory effects, versus placebo on a composite of dyspnea or pneumonia and oxygen desaturation among adult outpatients with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed mild COVID-19 illness. (2020-11-12)

Sweet taste reduces appetite?
To date, very little is known about how sweetness perception contributes to satiety. This study, conducted by an Austrian-German team led by chemists Veronika Somoza and Barbara Lieder, provides new insights into the relationship between the sweet taste of sugar, energy intake and the regulatory process of hunger and satiety. The study was published in the journal 'Nutrients'. (2020-11-10)

Trace amine-associated receptor 5 (TAAR5) to rewire your brain naturally
Researchers have found a new role for recently discovered neurotransmitter system that uses the trace amine-associated receptor 5 (TAAR5) for neurotransmission. It has been observed that lack of TAAR5 in mice leads to a higher number of dopamine neurons and an increase in adult neurogenesis, i.e. the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain. (2020-11-10)

Happiness and the evolution of brain size
Serotonin can act as a growth factor for the stem cells in the fetal human brain that determine brain size. (2020-10-23)

Changes in blood metabolite profile are visible years before diagnosis of alcohol-related disease
A new study from the University of Eastern Finland is the first in the world to show that the serum metabolite profile can be used to identify individuals likely at risk of developing an alcohol-related disease in the future. The finding also opens up new avenues for preventing alcohol-related adverse effects. (2020-10-19)

Ingestible capsule that could help demystify the gut-brain axis
A team of University of Maryland experts from engineering, neuroscience, applied microbiology, and physics has been making headway on building a platform that can monitor and model the real-time processing of gut microbiome serotonin activity. (2020-10-15)

STAT3 identified as important factor in emotional reactivity
In a study published in leading journal ''Molecular Psychiatry'', MedUni Vienna researchers led by Daniela Pollak from the Division of Neurophysiology and Neuropharmacology showed that STAT3 plays an important role in the serotonergic system as a molecular mediator for controlling emotional reactivity, thereby establishing a mechanistic link between the immune system, serotonergic transmission and affective disorders such as depression. (2020-10-14)

Scientists find neurochemicals have unexpectedly profound roles in the human brain
In first-of-their-kind observations in the human brain, an international team of researchers has revealed two well-known neurochemicals -- dopamine and serotonin -- are at work at sub-second speeds to shape how people perceive the world and take action based on their perception. (2020-10-12)

Scientists report role for dopamine and serotonin in human perception and decision-making
Scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine have recorded real time changes in dopamine and serotonin levels in the human brain that are involved with perception and decision-making. These same neurochemicals also are critical to movement disorders and psychiatric conditions, including substance abuse and depression. (2020-10-12)

New clues about the link between stress and depression
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified a protein in the brain that is important both for the function of the mood-regulating substance serotonin and for the release of stress hormones, at least in mice. The findings, which are published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, may have implications for the development of new drugs for depression and anxiety. (2020-10-02)

Advances in nonhormone therapies provide women with more options for managing hot flashes
Although many women manage menopause symptoms with hormone therapy, increasing numbers of women are considering nonhormone options. Dr. Susan Reed from the University of Washington School of Medicine is a featured speaker during the 2020 Pre-Meeting Symposium of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and will discuss the latest advances in nonhormone hot flash management. One of the more promising drug developments targets the KNDy neuron complex. (2020-09-28)

How microbes in a mother's intestines affect fetal neurodevelopment
During pregnancy in mice, the billions of bacteria and other microbes that live in a mother's intestines regulate key metabolites, small molecules that are important for healthy fetal brain development, UCLA biologists report Sept. 23, 2020 in the journal Nature. Scientists had not known until now whether the maternal gut microbiota influenced brain development during critical prenatal periods. (2020-09-23)

Study shows the major impact of diabetes on the risk of falls
New research presented at this year's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), held online this year (21-25 September), shows that having type 1 diabetes (T1D) is associated with a 33% increase in the risk of falls compared with the general population, while having type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with a 19% increased risk of falls. (2020-09-20)

First look at how hallucinogens bind structurally to serotonin receptors
Although hallucinogenic drugs have been studied for decades, little is known about the underlying mechanisms in the brain by which they induce their effects. A paper publishing September 17 in the journal Cell reveals the first X-ray crystallography structure of LSD bound to its target in the brain, the serotonin receptor. The paper also includes the first cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of a prototypical hallucinogen coupled with the entire serotonin receptor complex. (2020-09-17)

A scientific first: How psychedelics bind to key brain cell receptor
For the first time, scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill and Stanford solved the high-resolution structure of these compounds when they are actively bound to the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor on the surface of brain cells. This discovery is already leading to the exploration of more precise compounds that could eliminate hallucinations but still have strong therapeutic effects. Psilocybin - the psychedelic compound in mushrooms - has already been granted breakthrough status by the FDA to treat depression. (2020-09-17)

Guilt by dissociation: Study sheds light on serotonin in autism
A study on serotonin, a mood-regulating molecule in the brain that regulates many brain synapses, is helping to unravel the puzzle surrounding its role in autism. The activity and regulation of the serotonin transporter (SERT), protein is critically dependent on a number of other proteins that tell the protein where to locate on nerve cells and how to act. Shifts in the transporter's activity can significantly impact the ability of serotonin to act in the brain. (2020-09-02)

Immune protein IL-17A responsible for lethal side effects of gastric cancer
The formation of scar tissue, or fibrosis, as gastric cancer disseminates throughout the peritoneum can be more lethal than the cancer itself and can interfere with chemotherapy. Researchers from Kanazawa University have now found that proinflammatory cytokine IL-17A from mast cells heavily influences the degree of fibrosis and causes structural changes in peritoneal cells. Preventing mast cells from releasing IL-17A may therefore be a promising treatment strategy for gastric cancer patients with peritoneal dissemination. (2020-08-26)

Treatment for teen anxiety
In a new National Institute of Mental Health-funded study, led by Jeffrey Strawn and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, UC researchers took a first look at one particular medication for treatment of anxiety disorders in pediatric patients to see if it was beneficial. (2020-08-25)

Individual differences in the brain
If selection reinforces a behavior, brain activities soon change as well. (2020-08-10)

Headline news: Botox injections may lessen depression
By analyzing the FDA database of adverse drug effects, UC San Diego researchers discovered that people who received Botox injections -- not just in the forehead -- reported depression significantly less often than patients undergoing different treatments for the same conditions. (2020-07-30)

Amygdala changes in male patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Researchers in Japan have revealed that DNA methylation occurs in the serotonin transporter gene that regulates neurotransmitter transmission in schizophrenia and bipolar patients. Particularly prominent in males and patients with certain genetic polymorphisms, this methylation is inversely correlated to amygdala volume. This work is expected to lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It may also help to develop therapeutic agents and diagnostic/therapeutic markers that target epigenetic conditions. (2020-07-09)

How fear transforms into anxiety
University of New Mexico researchers identify for the first time the brain-wide neural correlates of the transition from fear to anxiety. (2020-07-09)

Gut Piezo1 regulates gut and bone homeostasis via RNA sensing.
Gut enterochromaffin cells regulate gut and bone homeostasis via serotonin production. A recent report suggested that gut microbes regulate serotonin levels, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unexplored. Here, Piezo1 is reported to be crucial for serotonin production from gut. Researchers discovered that bacterial derived RNA could activate Piezo1, leading to the production of serotonin from enterochromaffin cells, and that the RNA-Piezo1 axis could be an important target for treatment of bone and gut disorders. (2020-07-07)

Happiness might protect you from gastrointestinal distress
Serotonin, a chemical known for its role in producing feelings of well-being and happiness in the brain, can reduce the ability of some intestinal pathogens to cause deadly infections, new research by UT Southwestern scientists suggests. The findings, publishing online today in Cell Host & Microbe, could offer a new way to fight infections for which few truly effective treatments currently exist. (2020-06-09)

Gut research delves deeper into obesity problems
Serotonin in the gut is considered a regulator of normal gut function and is an important driver of metabolism and metabolic diseases including obesity and type 2 diabetes. Flinders University researchers have found that individual cells producing serotonin in the intestines change under high-fat diet conditions. (2020-06-04)

New study shows how ketamine combats depression
The anaesthetic drug ketamine has been shown, in low doses, to have a rapid effect on difficult-to-treat depression. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now report that they have identified a key target for the drug: specific serotonin receptors in the brain. Their findings, which are published in Translational Psychiatry, give hope of new, effective antidepressants. (2020-05-31)

Modified Parkinson's drug shows potential in treating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) severely impairs the quality of life in patients and often leads to various liver complications. Recently, scientists at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology designed a novel compound that can potentially treat NAFLD by targeting peripheral serotonin, which regulates lipid metabolism in the liver. They achieved this by structurally modifying an existing neurological drug such that it targets peripheral serotonin by minimizing brain penetration. (2020-05-28)

SSRI antidepressants associated with increase in violent crime in some patients
Scientists have found that some people being treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a greater tendency to commit violent crime. In addition, this effect seems to continue for up to 12 weeks after stopping SSRI treatment. This work is published in the peer-reviewed journal European Neuropsychopharmacology*, alongside a linked comment. The authors of both the paper and the comment note that the work indicates an association (rather than cause and effect) and urge caution in how the findings are interpreted. (2020-05-28)

Mother roundworms have ultra-protective instincts
University of Iowa biologists have learned animals can alert future offspring of dangers they will encounter when born. In studies with roundworms and mouse cells, researchers showed how mothers pass chemical signals to their unfertilized eggs, where the warning is stored in the egg cells and passed to offspring after birth. (2020-05-18)

Why some people are more prone to anxiety
Anxiety-prone people can blame serotonin cleanup proteins gone awry in their amygdala, according to research in marmosets recently published in JNeurosci. Targeting the amygdala with anti-anxiety medication could provide quicker relief. (2020-05-11)

Breastfeeding helps prevent mothers from developing diabetes after childbirth
A team of South Korean researchers found that lactation can lower the incidence and reduce the risk of maternal postpartum diabetes. The researchers identified that lactation increases the mass and function of pancreatic beta cells through serotonin production. The team suggested that sustained improvements in pancreatic beta cells, which can last for years even after the cessation of lactation, improve mothers' metabolic health in addition to providing health benefits for infants. (2020-04-29)

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