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, 360 (9348), 1840-2

Effect of Sunlight and Season on Serotonin Turnover in the Brain

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Effect of Sunlight and Season on Serotonin Turnover in the Brain

G W Lambert et al. Lancet.

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.

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