Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) agonists mimic and enhance the effect of 5-HT. A 5-HT agonist produces a “high” and a craving response in some people with impulse disorders and some substance abuse disorders. The present study was done to evaluate 5-HT metabolism in gamblers.
After a dose of a 5-HT agonist, the subjects were tested for feelings of “high” and cravings. Serum prolactin and cortisol levels were compared between non-gamblers and placebo-dosed controls. Twenty-six normal controls and 26 gamblers were tested.
Pathologic gamblers had showed significantly increased blood levels of prolactin 180 minutes and 210 minutes after dosing with a 5-HT agonist. Also, the gamblers reported greater senses of “high” with the 5-HT agonists than did the normal controls.
CONCLUSION: The author’s concluded that the “high” of gamblers could be related to a problem with serotonin regulation. Cortisol dysregulation was not reported in the abstract.
NOTE: This summary is based on the author’s abstract, only. The full article is not available at this time.
Increased 5-HT levels are associated with increased prolactin levels, which are associated with increased risk of certain cancers.
Serotonin agonists include the following, which increase prolactin: tryptophan, 5-OH tryptophan, certain anti-psychotic drugs, and untreated Parkinsonism. Dopamine activity is increased by the following which reduce prolactin activity: dopamine agonists such as tyrosine, vitex and anti-Parkinsonism drugs. 5-lipoxygenase inhibitors, such as Boswellia serrata (Boswellin,) reduce prolactin levels.
To read the author’s abstract of the article click on the link to the author’s title of the article above.