Clin Psychol Rev ; Why is Serotonin Important? But doing so can help with milder mood issues. August 30, pm. Read this next. Buy tryptophan supplements.
For the last 4 decades, the question of how to manipulate the serotonergic system with drugs has been an important area of research in biological psychiatry, and this research has led to advances in the treatment of depression. Research on the association between various polymorphisms and depression supports the idea that serotonin plays a role, not only in the treatment of depression but also in susceptibility to depression and suicide. The research focus here has been on polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter, but other serotonin-related genes may also be involved. Much less attention has been given to how this information will be used for the benefit of individuals with a serotonin-related susceptibility to depression, and little evidence exists concerning strategies to prevent depression in those with such a susceptibility. Various studies have looked at early intervention in those with prodromal symptoms as well as at population strategies for preventing depression. Clearly, pharmacologic approaches are not appropriate, and given the evidence for serotonin’s role in the etiology and treatment of depression, nonpharmacologic methods of increasing serotonin are potential candidates to test for their ability to prevent depression. Another reason for pursuing nonpharmacologic methods of increasing serotonin arises from the increasing recognition that happiness and well-being are important, both as factors protecting against mental and physical disorders and in their own right. For example, the negative mood hostility is a risk factor for many disorders. For the sake of brevity, hostility is discussed here mainly in relation to one of the biggest sources of mortality, coronary heart disease CHD.
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