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How does serotonin affect drugs in the brain

how-does-serotonin-affect-drugs-in-the-brain-photoThe mechanism by which these drugs have their effect is not clearly established. However, some evidence indicates that a neurohormone called Serotonin is involved. When it is insufficient in amount to produce its normal effects, abnormal behavior may be observed. In concluding his address Dr. Himwich wrote, “These new drugs are not a flash in the pan but their therapeutic values have been widely corroborated. However, they are not a complete answer to our therapeutic problem because no one drug is able to ameliorate the condition of all of the patients and none of them is as efficacious for melancholia as is electric shock.”

The discovery of new drugs of this type invariably sets off a chain reaction in which new fields are investigated and various combinations of new drugs with old drugs are tested for specific effects. Already there are combinations of Reserpine with various sedative drugs of the barbiturate series and with other active ingredients. In one study Reserpine and Chlorpromazine were given in combination and the combination was said to have certain advantages over therapy with Reserpine alone. Indeed the authors say that Chlorpromazine seemed to potentiate the clinical effects of Reserpine. “The course of combined therapy,” say

Drs. J. A. Barsa and N. S. Kline, “was less stormy and less distressing to the patient because of the milder and shorter turbulent period.” Already these drugs are said to have worked miracles in state institutions for the mentally disturbed, permitting great numbers of patients to be discharged to their homes beyond what might have been possible in previous years. Dr. A. E. Bennett says that “both drugs have facilitated psychotherapy through physiologic relief of anxiety, tension, insomnia or somatic symptoms in some cases.”