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Anja Ewing

on 31 October 2012

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Transcript of Serotonin

Serotonin Presentation by Anja Ewing What is Serotonin? A hormone and neurotransmitter found in many tissues, including blood platelets, intestinal mucosa, the pineal body, and the central nervous system C H N O 10 12 2 Serotonin plays an important part in the regulation of
learning, mood, sleep, and vasoconstriction. A neurotransmitter is a chemical substance that transmits nerve impulses across the space between neurons. A hormone is any of the various internally secreted compounds formed in the endocrine glands that affect the functions of specially receptive organs or tissues when transported to them by the body fluids. It has many physiologic properties including inhibition of gastric secretion and stimulation of smooth muscles. Approximately 80% of the human body's total serotonin is located in the enterchromaffin cells in the gut, where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. The remainder is synthesized in serotonergic neurons in the CNS where it has various functions, including the regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, muscle contraction, and some cognitive functions including memory and learning... and in blood platelets where it helps regulate homeostasis and blood clotting. In addition to humans and animals, serotonin is also found in fungi and plants. Serotonin was originally discovered in Rome in 1935 and then by American scientists in the late 1940s. Serotonin's presence in insect venom and plant spines serves to cause pain. In humans, defective signaling of serotonin in the brain may be the root cause of sudden infant death syndrome. A lack of serotonin in the body can lead to depression. This is treated with MAOIs which prevent the breakdown of serotonin increasing the concentrations of the chemical in the brain. Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and MDMA dramatically affect the serotonin levels in the body. These drugs can lead to serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening drug reaction that may occur following therapeutic drug use, inadvertent interactions between drugs, overdose of particular drugs, or the recreational use of certain drugs. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to: increased heart rate, shivering, sweating, dilated pupils, overresponsive reflexes, hyperactive bowel sounds, high blood pressure, hyperthermia, hypervigilance, shock, seizures, and renal failure. Treatment includes stopping the usage of the precipitating drugs, the administration of serotonin antagonists, and supportive care. In conclusion, serotonin is extremely important to the body and its functions, but too little or too much can be dangerous or even fatal. The End
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