Serotonin and human cognitive performance

J.A.J. Schmitt, M. Wingen, J.G. Ramaekers, E.A.T. Evers, W.J. Riedel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

147 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the past decade, experimental studies involving healthy human volunteers have revealed that manipulations of the central serotonin (5-HT) system can produce quite specific changes in cognitive functioning, independent of overt mood changes. Reduced 5-HT turnover is consistently associated with impaired long-term memory functioning. Low 5-HT function may also impair cognitive flexibility and improve focused attention. On the other hand. stimulation of central 5-HT has repeatedly been found to impair performance in a true vigilance task. Currently. there is little evidence for mirrored cognitive changes due to opposite 5-HT manipulations in healthy volunteers. Given the mounting evidence for a role of 5-HT in human cognition, reduced 5-HT function could be directly linked to cognitive disturbances in certain conditions. such as in depression and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). There is evidence that stimulating (i.e. normalizing) 5-HT activity in depression may have specific beneficial effects on cognition, independent of a general relief of depressive symptoms, but this premise needs to be confirmed by larger-scale clinical studies. Recently, a potential role of 5-HT in the cognitive symptoms in AD has been identified, but there is insufficient data to evaluate the effects of 5-HT stimulation on cognitive symptoms in AD. It is concluded that serotonin is a potential target for pharmacological cognition enhancement, particularly for restoration of impaired cognitive performance due to 5-HT dysfunction. Further differentiation of the role of 5-HT in normal and disturbed cognition and evaluation of the effects of 5-HT manipulations in various populations is required to establish the full potential of 5-HT drugs as cognition enhancers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2473-86
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Volume12
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Cite this

@article{caba2db0efbe4003909294504be4d461,
title = "Serotonin and human cognitive performance",
abstract = "In the past decade, experimental studies involving healthy human volunteers have revealed that manipulations of the central serotonin (5-HT) system can produce quite specific changes in cognitive functioning, independent of overt mood changes. Reduced 5-HT turnover is consistently associated with impaired long-term memory functioning. Low 5-HT function may also impair cognitive flexibility and improve focused attention. On the other hand. stimulation of central 5-HT has repeatedly been found to impair performance in a true vigilance task. Currently. there is little evidence for mirrored cognitive changes due to opposite 5-HT manipulations in healthy volunteers. Given the mounting evidence for a role of 5-HT in human cognition, reduced 5-HT function could be directly linked to cognitive disturbances in certain conditions. such as in depression and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). There is evidence that stimulating (i.e. normalizing) 5-HT activity in depression may have specific beneficial effects on cognition, independent of a general relief of depressive symptoms, but this premise needs to be confirmed by larger-scale clinical studies. Recently, a potential role of 5-HT in the cognitive symptoms in AD has been identified, but there is insufficient data to evaluate the effects of 5-HT stimulation on cognitive symptoms in AD. It is concluded that serotonin is a potential target for pharmacological cognition enhancement, particularly for restoration of impaired cognitive performance due to 5-HT dysfunction. Further differentiation of the role of 5-HT in normal and disturbed cognition and evaluation of the effects of 5-HT manipulations in various populations is required to establish the full potential of 5-HT drugs as cognition enhancers.",
author = "J.A.J. Schmitt and M. Wingen and J.G. Ramaekers and E.A.T. Evers and W.J. Riedel",
year = "2006",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.2174/138161206777698909",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
pages = "2473--86",
journal = "Current Pharmaceutical Design",
issn = "1381-6128",
publisher = "Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.",
number = "20",

}

Serotonin and human cognitive performance. / Schmitt, J.A.J.; Wingen, M.; Ramaekers, J.G.; Evers, E.A.T.; Riedel, W.J.

In: Current Pharmaceutical Design, Vol. 12, No. 20, 01.01.2006, p. 2473-86.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Serotonin and human cognitive performance

AU - Schmitt, J.A.J.

AU - Wingen, M.

AU - Ramaekers, J.G.

AU - Evers, E.A.T.

AU - Riedel, W.J.

PY - 2006/1/1

Y1 - 2006/1/1

N2 - In the past decade, experimental studies involving healthy human volunteers have revealed that manipulations of the central serotonin (5-HT) system can produce quite specific changes in cognitive functioning, independent of overt mood changes. Reduced 5-HT turnover is consistently associated with impaired long-term memory functioning. Low 5-HT function may also impair cognitive flexibility and improve focused attention. On the other hand. stimulation of central 5-HT has repeatedly been found to impair performance in a true vigilance task. Currently. there is little evidence for mirrored cognitive changes due to opposite 5-HT manipulations in healthy volunteers. Given the mounting evidence for a role of 5-HT in human cognition, reduced 5-HT function could be directly linked to cognitive disturbances in certain conditions. such as in depression and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). There is evidence that stimulating (i.e. normalizing) 5-HT activity in depression may have specific beneficial effects on cognition, independent of a general relief of depressive symptoms, but this premise needs to be confirmed by larger-scale clinical studies. Recently, a potential role of 5-HT in the cognitive symptoms in AD has been identified, but there is insufficient data to evaluate the effects of 5-HT stimulation on cognitive symptoms in AD. It is concluded that serotonin is a potential target for pharmacological cognition enhancement, particularly for restoration of impaired cognitive performance due to 5-HT dysfunction. Further differentiation of the role of 5-HT in normal and disturbed cognition and evaluation of the effects of 5-HT manipulations in various populations is required to establish the full potential of 5-HT drugs as cognition enhancers.

AB - In the past decade, experimental studies involving healthy human volunteers have revealed that manipulations of the central serotonin (5-HT) system can produce quite specific changes in cognitive functioning, independent of overt mood changes. Reduced 5-HT turnover is consistently associated with impaired long-term memory functioning. Low 5-HT function may also impair cognitive flexibility and improve focused attention. On the other hand. stimulation of central 5-HT has repeatedly been found to impair performance in a true vigilance task. Currently. there is little evidence for mirrored cognitive changes due to opposite 5-HT manipulations in healthy volunteers. Given the mounting evidence for a role of 5-HT in human cognition, reduced 5-HT function could be directly linked to cognitive disturbances in certain conditions. such as in depression and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). There is evidence that stimulating (i.e. normalizing) 5-HT activity in depression may have specific beneficial effects on cognition, independent of a general relief of depressive symptoms, but this premise needs to be confirmed by larger-scale clinical studies. Recently, a potential role of 5-HT in the cognitive symptoms in AD has been identified, but there is insufficient data to evaluate the effects of 5-HT stimulation on cognitive symptoms in AD. It is concluded that serotonin is a potential target for pharmacological cognition enhancement, particularly for restoration of impaired cognitive performance due to 5-HT dysfunction. Further differentiation of the role of 5-HT in normal and disturbed cognition and evaluation of the effects of 5-HT manipulations in various populations is required to establish the full potential of 5-HT drugs as cognition enhancers.

U2 - 10.2174/138161206777698909

DO - 10.2174/138161206777698909

M3 - Article

VL - 12

SP - 2473

EP - 2486

JO - Current Pharmaceutical Design

JF - Current Pharmaceutical Design

SN - 1381-6128

IS - 20

ER -