Neurotransmitters Play a Role in Mental Health




What are Neurotransmitters?

Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that allow our neurons to communicate with each other throughout the brain and body. They are essential in the firing of synapses and neurons. They work to balance and regulate many aspects of mental health. Some of these aspects include ones mood regulation, sleep patterns, hormones, energy levels, alertness and more.

List of major neurotransmitters:

Serotonin:
regulates mood, social behavior, appetite, healthy gut/digestion, memory, healthy sleep patterns as well as a healthy sexual functioning. Mainstream medicine has linked low serotonin to depression. Serotonin may also help with anxiety, phobias, antisocial behavior and eating disorders. You may find that most antidepressant medications work by stimulating serotonin in the brain.

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Dopamine:
Helps regulate motivation, sex drive, focus and attention, motor control, cravings and addictions, complusions and pleasure. It is known as a feel good brain chemical that can aid in mental health conditions. Dopamine helps with mental health conditions such as ADHD, Parkinson’s and Depression.

Norepinephrine:
plays a role in the in sleeping patterns and especially the sleep-wake cycle. It increases attention, focus and helps with memory. Although, too much of this neurotransmitter can make you jittery and on edge.

Gaba:
Gaba is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. It modulates other neurotransmitters, like glutamate, and helps with stress, anxiety, sleep and mood.

Glutamate:
is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter. It releases nerve cells in the brain. Glutamate is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells, and plays a role in learning and memory. It is thought that glutamate plays a role in Schizophrenia.

Acetycholine:
Is important in learning and memory. It plays a role in all aspects of cognitive health. It helps in keeping one awake and alert. It also plays a role in language formation and speech. This neurotransmitter may play a role in ADHD and medications are used to increase this neurotransmitter in the brain.

Here’s an article about the role of neurotransmitters in mental disorders.