Serotonin Robbers

By Nicolette Francey Asselin, M.D

1. Sparkless Days

Happiness determines how long we live and how strong our families are.

After returning from an overseas trip, I was fighting time changes and a cold that robbed me of hours of sleep. The day ahead appeared blurred, faint, colorless, and gray. The natural sparkle that generated my sense of enthusiasm and fired my first steps out of bed, had vanished. Later, I sat down to my favorite routine, writing, but chapters I had written appeared dull, unexciting, and soporific. The sunless day weighed heavily on me, or even spicy food seemed bland, vapid, and savorless. Why such a low mood? My husband and I had just had a pleasant visit with my family in Europe, and no dark clouds were lurking on the horizon of our peaceful lives. Full story

This story is the first of a 4 part article series:

  • 1. Sparkless Days
  • 2. Portrait of the Robbers
  • 3. Tryptophan Deprivation
  • 4. Manufacturing the “Magic Powder”
  • References:

    (1) Simon N. Young, Ph.D., “How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs, Journal of Psychiatry Neuroscience 32, no. 6 (December 2007): 394–399.

    (2) Steven M. Opal, MD, and Vera A. DePalo, MD, “Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines,” Chest117, no. 4 (April 2000): 1162–1172.

    (3) Ronald S. Smith, “Chapter 7: Immunological Evidence Supporting The Immune-Cytokine Model of Depression,” Cytokines and Depression.

    (4) Jennifer C. Felger and Francis E. Lotrich, “Inflammatory Cytokines in Depression: Neurobiological Mechanisms and Therapeutic Implications.Neuroscience 246 (August 2013): 199–229.

    (5) Charles A. Dinarello, “Historical Review of Cytokines,” Eur J Immunol37 (July 2007): S34–S45.

    (6) Yiquan Chen and Gilles J. Guillemin, “Kynurenine Pathway Metabolites in Humans: Disease and Healthy States” Int J Tryptophan Res2 (January 2009): 1–19.

    (7) Andrew H. Miller, MD, Ebrahim Haroon, MD, Charles L. Raison, MD, and Jennifer C. Felger, Ph.D., “Cytokine Targets in the Brain: Impact of Neurotransmitters and Neurocircuits,” Depress Anxiety 30, no. 4 (April 2013): 297–306.

    (8) Meredith A. Greene and Richard F. Loeser, M.D. “Aging-related inflammation in Osteoarthritis,” Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 No; 23(11):1966–1971.

 

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