Scientists have discovered the possible cause of seasonal depressions – the chemical components of the nervous system.

The researches believe that the reason for seasonal affective disorder or depression is the changes in the amount of serotonin in the nervous tissues. People suffering from the mood swings in winter, have a higher level of serotonin-destroying enzyme.

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Positron emission tomography brain scans revealed the difference in the chemical composition of the brain of 11 people suffering from seasonal depression and 23 healthy participants. The levels of SERT protein, responsible for removing serotonin during the winter months were higher in the participants suffering from seasonal depressions. However, the 5% SERT increase was able to significantly affect the mood.

Experts believe that such a process is a part of the individual regulatory activity of the brain. It should be recalled that serotonin is involved in many biochemical processes, helping to provide a sense of happiness and satisfaction.

Source: European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP).