New York, December 24 (SocialNews.XYZ) Scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) sensor that can be used to monitor serotonin transmission in the brain under more natural conditions in order to combat sleep disorders and mental health in the future.
Serotonin is a neurochemical that plays a vital role in how the brain controls our thoughts and feelings.
In an article in Cell, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded researchers described how they used advanced genetic engineering techniques to convert a bacterial protein into a new research tool that could monitor serotonin transmission more closely than current methods.
Researchers used machine learning (ML) algorithms to help a computer “think up” 250,000 new designs.
Initial experiments indicated that the new sensor reliably detects serotonin at different levels in the brain, while it hardly or not at all reacts to other neurotransmitters or similarly shaped drugs.
Experiments in mouse brain slices showed that the sensor responded to serotonin signals sent between neurons at synaptic communication points.
Meanwhile, experiments on cells in Petri dishes suggested that the sensor can effectively monitor changes in these signals caused by drugs such as cocaine, MDMA (also known as ecstasy), and several commonly used antidepressants.
Current methods can only detect broad changes in serotonin signaling.
Preclinical experiments, especially in mice, showed that the sensor could detect subtle changes in serotonin levels in the brain during sleep, anxiety, and social interactions in real time and test the effectiveness of new psychoactive drugs, according to the study by researchers in Lin Tian’s laboratory, Principal Researcher at the University of California Davis School of Medicine.
Finally, experiments in mice showed that the sensor could help scientists study serotonin neurotransmission in more natural conditions.
For example, the researchers observed an expected increase in serotonin levels when mice were awake and a decrease when mice fell asleep.
They also discovered a larger drop off as the mice eventually entered deeper REM sleep states.
“Conventional serotonin monitoring methods would have missed these changes,” the authors noted.
Gopi Adusumilli is a programmer. He is the editor of SocialNews.XYZ and President of AGK Fire Inc.
He enjoys website design, mobile application development, and breaking news articles from various authenticated news sources.
When it comes to writing, he enjoys writing about current world politics and Indian films. His plans for the future include developing SocialNews.XYZ into a news website free of prejudice or judgment.
He can be reached at [email protected]