What Is Serotonin? What Does Serotonin Do?

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What Is Serotonin? What Does Serotonin Do?

Post by Tee on Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:14 am

Article Date: 04 Aug 2011

Serotonin, also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine is a hormone in the pineal gland, the digestive tract, the central nervous system, and blood platelets. A hormone is a substance our body produces that regulates and controls the activity of certain cells or organs.

The molecular formula of serotonin is C10H12N2O.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter - this is a chemical substance that transmits nerve impulses across the space between nerve cells or neurons. We call these spaces synapses.

Serotonin plays an important part in the regulation of learning, mood, sleep and vasoconstriction (constriction of blood vessels). Experts say serotonin also might have a role in anxiety, migraine, vomiting and appetite.

Alterations in serotonin levels in the brain may affect mood. Some antidepressant medications affect the action of serotonin, i.e. they are used to treat depression.

About 80% of our body's total serotonin is in the gut, in the enterochromaffin cells - where it regulates intestinal movements. The rest is synthesized in the serotonergic neurons in the central nervous system.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232248.php

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