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Lancet. 2002 Dec 7;360(9348):1840-2.

Effect of sunlight and season on serotonin turnover in the brain.

Author information

  • 1Human Neurotransmitter Laboratory and Alfred and Baker Medical Unit, Baker Heart Research Institute, PO Box 6492, St Kilda Road Central, Victoria 8008, Melbourne, Australia. gavin.lambert@baker.edu.au

Abstract

Alterations in monoaminergic neurotransmission in the brain are thought to underlie seasonal variations in mood, behaviour, and affective disorders. We took blood samples from internal jugular veins in 101 healthy men, to assess the relation between concentration of serotonin metabolite in these samples and weather conditions and season. We showed that turnover of serotonin by the brain was lowest in winter (p=0.013). Moreover, the rate of production of serotonin by the brain was directly related to the prevailing duration of bright sunlight (r=0.294, p=0.010), and rose rapidly with increased luminosity. Our findings are further evidence for the notion that changes in release of serotonin by the brain underlie mood seasonality and seasonal affective disorder.

PMID:
12480364
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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