Serotonin & Depression

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Serotonin & Depression

In the brainstem, the most primitive part of the brain, lie clusters of serotonin neurons. The nerve fiber terminals of the serotonergic neurons extend all throughout the central nervous system from the cerebral cortex to the spinal cord. This neurotransmitter is responsible for controlling fundamental physiological aspects of the body. In the central nervous system (CNS), serotonin has widespread and often profound implications, including a role in sleep, appetite, memory, learning, temperature regulation, mood, sexual behavior, cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, and endocrine regulation. Not only does this bioamine control physiological aspects of the body, but it also has an involvement in behaviors like eating, sleeping and aggression. Serotonin has been noted to produce an inhibitory effect on the nervous system that calms, soothes and generates feelings of general contentment and satiation.

Not surprisingly, serotonin is implicated in a broad range of serotonin disorders like depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease (3).. Serotonin deficiencies have been one of the factors to blame for ailments such as anorexia, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorders, migraines, social phobias and schizophrenia. (9). (12). I am not taking a stance that serotonin has its hand in all of these different pots, but after the research that I have completed for this paper, I feel comfortable talking about serotonin in reference to depression. No one can say for certain what exactly "causes" depression. But in this paper, I hope to give further insight into serotonin's specific role as a possible predeterminant for major depression and some hopes for those suffering...

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