What is serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter whose dysregulation may underlie the negative symptoms and high rates of depression seen in people with schizophrenia. Supporting this, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been found to be effective in treating the negative symptoms of the disorder.  Furthermore, acute tryptophan depletion, a dietary manipulation that lowers brain serotonin (5-HT) synthesis, has been shown to worsen negative symptoms.

What is the evidence on serotonin?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests a medium effect of elevated prefrontal serotonin 5-HT1A receptors in people with schizophrenia compared to people without schizophrenia. Moderate to low quality evidence also suggests a medium to large effect of reduced prefrontal serotonin 5-HT2A receptors in people with schizophrenia.

March 2016

Last updated at: 12:43 am, 27th March 2019
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