A chemical that is made by nerve cells and used to communicate with other cells, including other nerve cells and muscle cells. Experts have identified more than 100 neurotransmitters to date. Neurotransmitters have different types of action:
Excitatory neurotransmitters encourage a target cell to take action.
Inhibitory neurotransmitters decrease the chances of the target cell taking action. In some cases, these neurotransmitters have a relaxation-like effect.
Modulatory neurotransmitters can send messages to many neurons at the same time. They also communicate with other neurotransmitters.
The key ones are Serotonin, Dopamine, Acetylcholine, Endorphins, Adrenaline (Epinephrine), Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA),
picture shows an actual serotonin receptor BackgroundI'd never heard of Serotonin until I was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine Cancer in 2010. It is frequently discussed, often with contrasting views from the respondents. One common assumption/question is that it is responsible for many things that can go wrong with Neuroendocrine Cancer patients who have serotonin-producing tumours. To a certain extent, that's true but statement such as "it's the hormones" is an easy assumption to make; or an easy answer to give in response to a complex set of circumstances. It's difficult to get a definitive answer and the science behind the behaviour of our hormones isn't really 100% tied down - the human body is extremely complex.You may see serotonin referred to as a 'neurotransmitter', a 'chemical' and a 'hormone' - this…
Hormonal imbalances are quite common in many conditions including day to day stuff. With Neuroendocrine Cancer, it can be a real challenge both at diagnostic and maintenance phases. In addition to the cancer angle, there's some strange stuff going on, inexplicable, frightening for the patient, an unwanted ingredient causing chaos!Until I was diagnosed with metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer, I didn't have a clue about hormones - it's one of those things you just take for granted. However, hormones are vital to human health (male and female) and it's only when things go wrong you suddenly appreciate how important they are. Hormones are involved in many conditions, not just an issue with Neuroendocrine Tumours (NETs) but the presence of over-secreting hormones (often called peptides throughout) is useful to aid a diagnosis, albeit…