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From the Editor
Editor's Note
 
Memory News
Fatty food weighs down muscles and memory
 
Pumping Neurons: Exercise to maintain a healthy brain
The evidence is growing that moderate regular exercise boosts memory and other brain functions and may help prevent age-related declines.
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How Parkinsonís disease affects the mind

It’s not just a movement disorder. Besides causing tremors and other motion-related symptoms, Parkinson’s disease affects memory, learning, and behavior.

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Creative healing: art therapy for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
As medical science races to cure dementia, storytelling and other creative activities promise a better quality of life for the millions already diagnosed.
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Memory Tip
Medicate Your Memory
Glossary
Serotonin
 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, a chemical used to carry messages between neurons. Although only about 1% of the body's serotonin is localized in the brain, serotonin has profound effects on brain function. (The remaining 99% helps carry messages elsewhere in the body, such as the spinal cord and muscles.)

Serotonin's effects are complex and incompletely understood. Too little serotonin may be a cause of depression, and drugs that increase brain levels of serotonin (the serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs) can alleviate depression -- but they may also cause side effects such as insomnia, anxiety and loss of libido.

Several diet drugs, including flenfluramine (withdrawn from the US market in 1977) and sibutramine (brand name Meridia) increase brain levels of serotonin, increasing feelings of satiety and decreasing the desire to eat.

Various psychedelic drugs, including LSD, resemble serotonin chemically, and may work by mimicking some of the effects of serotonin in the brain.

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain