serotonin

A new study in mice shows a link between the brain’s chemical system and the mice’s belief about how waiting will pay off. The effect of the neuromodulator serotonin on mice’s ability to stay patient when waiting for a reward is at the core of the study[1], by Dr. Katsuhiko Miyazaki and Dr. Kayoko Miyazaki… Read more

A Columbia University study in fruit flies has identified serotonin as a chemical that triggers the body’s startle response, the automatic deer-in-the-headlights reflex that freezes the body momentarily in response to a potential threat. The study reveals that when a fly experiences an unexpected change to its surroundings, such as a sudden vibration, release of… Read more

Serotonin and drugs that target serotonin, such as anti-depressants, can have a major effect on the gut’s microbiota, a new study[1] in mice led by UCLA biologists strongly suggests. An estimated 90 percent of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut, where it influences gut immunity. The team — led by senior author Elaine… Read more

A newly-discovered biological mechanism could explain heightened somatic awareness, in which people experience pain that has no physiological explanation. Patients with heightened somatic awareness often experience unexplained symptoms — headaches, sore joints, nausea, constipation, or itchy skin — that cause emotional distress, and are twice as likely to develop chronic pain. The condition, associated with… Read more

A role for the mitochondrial effects of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the facilitation of stress adaptation has been identified in new research. Mitochondria in neurons are the powerhouses that generate energy to execute cellular functions and regulate neuronal survival under conditions of stress. The collaborative research, conducted by Prof. Vidita Vaidya and Prof. Ullas Kolthur-Seetharam… Read more