A new study on the effects of serotonin on various brain functions recently revealed that this hormone can also have a significant effect on brain characteristics such as neuroplasticity – its ability to change the structure of synapses and signal transmission between neurons in such a way as to help the carrier as quickly as possible adapt to the new reality of a particular situation, often critical in its nature. An article with this study, published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, clearly demonstrated how much and significantly this characteristic of the brain can be improved.
Specialists from University College London presented the results of their research, which was conducted on laboratory rodents and was divided into several sessions. Scientists have involved the production of serotonin through artificial exposure to light on certain parts of the brain of mice and observed how their behavior changes in constantly changing situations. They found that serotonin – being one of the representatives of the so-called class of selective reuptake inhibitors – is the most effective in improving brain neuroplasticity and improving coordination of logical thinking, accelerated many times.
Thus, experimental mice, being susceptible to accelerated production of serotonin, solved puzzles and problem situations much faster, unlike their relatives, to whom they either did not apply or weakly applied artificial exposure to light.
This partly explains the fact why serotonin reuptake is the most effective chemical compound for use in the development of various antidepressants and why it is so often used in various types of psychological therapies for patients suffering from various forms of depression. Specialists intend to further reveal the full potential of using light therapy to increase the production of serotonin in human patients, but until then they will have to deal with some aspects of their practical research.