Neurons – the cells in your nervous system – control target cells such as muscles or other neurons, by releasing chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neurons are not connected to target cells; instead, chemical messages are relayed by neurotransmitters flowing across a gap between the cells, called a synapse. The neurotransmitters then bind to receptors on the surface of the target cells, in a lock-and-key fashion.
Neurotransmitter Imbalances: “A Failure to Communicate”
When you have imbalances in neurotransmitter levels, neurons cannot communicate as effectively with each other and with target cells, resulting in vast array of medical conditions, both physical and psychological.
Most of us know that imbalances in the neurotransmitter serotonin are strongly linked with depression and mood swings. This discovery was the basis of researchers developing drugs such as Prozac and Paxil, which are called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Dopamine depletion in the brain is the cause of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Neurotransmitters – more than just serotonin!
Did you realize there are over 100 neurotransmitters that have been identified in the human brain?
You’ve probably heard of endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters. Epinephrine, or adrenaline, is also a neurotransmitter. Melatonin, histamine, and acetylcholine? Yep –all neurotransmitters! Other neurotransmitters you might not have heard of, but which perform crucial functions, include glutamate (important in memory and learning) and GABA (promotes muscle relaxation and relieves anxiety).
Imbalances in any of them can cause significant problems. That’s why the neurotransmitter testing – performed by Dr. Shiva Lalezar, a respected Los Angeles holistic doctor and family practitioner at LA’s Health and Vitality Center – is so valuable. Dr. Lalezar often finds that these imbalances may be the root cause of many serious diseases and conditions.