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Introduction Serotonin may very well be one of the most important chemicals in the human body Although the full effects of serotonin are not fully known research shows that it plays a very important role in our lives Having healthy serotonin functioning is essential to a persons well being This paper discusses the role that serotonin plays psychological disorders caused by or coincide with improper serotonin functioning as well as many medications and drugs available which may affect a persons serotonin levels By understanding the way in which serotonin affects humans it will give us a greater understanding of the way our minds work The Effects of Serotonin on the Mind and Body Serotonin is a compound widely distributed in the tissues of the human body mainly in blood platelets intestinal walls and the central nervous system Serotonin was first discovered in the body and then in the brain in the mid-1950s 10 years later in 1964 specific serotonin containing nerve cells or neurons were located in the brain P Breggin and GBreggin 1994 It acts as a neurotransmitter to a discrete group of neurons in the brain Snyder 1986 Serotonin is in fact the most widespread neurotransmitter in the brain P Breggin and GBreggin 1994 It is believed that serotonin is involved in the control of aggression in sexual behavior and in the maintenance of mood Appleton 2000 Serotonin also plays important roles outside of the brain and spinal cord It was first isolated in the blood and its name reflects the constrictive action it was found to have on blood vessels According to a review in the Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics 5-HT serotonin both stimulates and inhibits nerves and smooth muscles in the cardiovascular respiratory and gastrointestinal systems P Breggin and GBreggin 1994 Abnormal serotonin functioning can cause many psychological disorders such as depression anxiety irritability confused thinking abnormal appetite and disturbance of sleep Appleton 2000 In a normal system serotonin is
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