The ZRT Laboratory Blog

The ZRT Blog is an extensive resource for patients and health care providers searching for health and hormone testing information. Here, you can read about ZRT’s cutting edge research, advances in testing, wellness advice, and health industry highlights.

Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 3

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 01 June

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This is part three of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part one can be found here. Part two can be found here.

Monoamines and the HPA Axis

The hypothalamus is directly innervated by neuronal systems that produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (5-HT), dopamine and norepinephrine (NE), that are involved in mood regulation and play various other roles in cognitive health. During the acute stress crisis, the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system is stimulated to help maintain morale. However, during chronic stress or depression, the reward system is down-regulated by stress mediators, resulting in anhedonia.

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 2

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 18 May

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This is part two of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part one can be found here. Part three can be found here.

Glutamate, GABA & Neurosteroid Activation

Glutamate (L-glutamic acid) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are, respectively, the principal excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS and play a significant role in HPA axis function and mood [1]. These two amino acid-based neurotransmitters account for over 50% of the synapses in the brain, while the monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) account for only about 5% [2].

Glutamate is required for synaptic transmission and plasticity, and learning and memory. However, abnormal function of the glutamatergic system can lead to neurotoxicity, and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders [3].

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Mitochondria & Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Peter Bongiorno on Friday, 04 May

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Why are Mitochondria Important? 

Mitochondria are organelles that are present in every cell of the body except red blood cells. Probably everyone reading this learned about these little guys in high sch­ool biology, where they were described as "the energy packs of the cells."

About 20% of our body weight is mitochondria. This translates to about 250 quadrillion of these organelles. There are 37.2 trillion body cells with an average of 1 to 2000 mitochondria per cell. Sperm each have about 16 mitochondria and oocytes have 100,000 (which shows you where the power is).

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 06 April

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This is part one of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part two can be found here. Part three can be found here. 

When we talk about “stress,” or allostatic load, in terms of the perception of an event, we must realize that these “events” must first be translated into neurochemical signals before they trigger the HPA axis.

Therefore, the sensitivity and outcome of translating these events (whether they are ongoing events, memories of past events, or stressful anticipation of unrealized events), is highly dependent upon signaling from other neurotransmitters. In fact, the signaling neurotransmitters that manage mood and affect often overlap with measures of HPA axis activation, and cannot be easily distinguished in some subjects. [1]

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