Neurotransmitters in an instant

phys.org | 10/17/2019 | Staff
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Dopamine, serotonin, adrenalin... The smooth functioning of the human brain depends on their correct proportions. Any disturbances mean diseases. That's why it's so important to be able to detect these disturbances as early as possible—before the appearance of any visible symptoms. This will be possible quickly, simply and cheaply thanks to the work of a team of researchers headed by Professor Martin Jönsson-Niedziócka from the IPC PAS.

"We are aiming to detect neurotransmitters at the lowest concentrations and without additional sample preparation," says the author of the work published in Analytical Chemistry, Magdalena Kundys-Siedlecka. "In the paper we have just published, I proved that in mouse serum (i.e. blood without the red blood cells) I can detect serotonin at concentrations that are as low as those found physiologically."

Serotonin - Hormone - Happiness - Mice - Study

Serotonin is sometimes called the hormone of happiness, so it seemed reasonable to ask if the mice used in the study were happy or unhappy?

"It seems to me that the mice we studied were ...just ordinary," answers the head of the research group Professor Martin Jönsson-Niedziócka with a laugh, "Neither happy nor unhappy, and their serotonin levels were statistically normal."

Idea - Method - Neurotransmitters - Sample - Magdalena

Where did the idea for this method come from? "Firstly, we wanted to detect many neurotransmitters simultaneously in one sample," explains Magdalena Kundys-Siedlecka. "Secondly, in low, physiological concentrations, so that any possible disease could be detected early on. Thirdly—in a sample needing the least possible processing—collect samples of blood, saliva, or, for example, cerebrospinal fluid and detect the neurotransmitters in them without much additional preparation."

It is said that, for example, Alzheimer's disease is caused by a deficiency of dopamine in specific areas of the brain, but in reality, the disease mechanisms are much more complicated. Usually, it is not an excess or deficiency of only one neurotransmitter that leads to disease, but rather the wrong...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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