serotonin

Everything you need to know about chemical imbalances in the brain

A chemical imbalance in the brain occurs when a person has either too little or too much of certain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that pass information between nerve cells. Examples of neurotransmitters include serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. People sometimes call serotonin and dopamine the “happy hormones” because of the…

Dopamine and serotonin: Brain chemicals explained

Dopamine and serotonin are chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, that help regulate many bodily functions. They have roles in sleep and memory, as well as metabolism and emotional well-being. People sometimes refer to dopamine and serotonin as the “happy hormones” due to the roles they play in regulating mood and emotion. They are…

What are the health benefits of 5-HTP?

L-5 hydroxytryptophan is a natural chemical in the body that people can also take as a nutritional supplement. Some people believe that taking the supplement can improve certain aspects of health, including mental health and sleep quality. The compound is a natural precursor to a neurotransmitter called serotonin, which helps produce…

Psychedelic compound triggers near-death experiences

A new study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, suggests that a psychedelic compound found in ayahuasca replicates near-death experiences in the brain. Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew made from different plants. A main ingredient is dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is a “non-selective serotonin receptor agonist” — that is, a compound that boosts serotonin,…

Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Lexapro?

Lexapro is the brand name of a drug called escitalopram, which doctors prescribe to treat depression and anxiety. Medical practitioners consider Lexapro to be safe and effective for these conditions. However, they do not recommend that people drink alcohol while taking Lexapro. Lexapro belongs to a class of drugs known…