Neuro Basic Profile; urine (Labrix, Doctor's Data)

Urinary neurotransmitter levels provide an overall assessment of the body's ability to make and break down neurotransmitters and are representative of whole body levels. Neurotransmitters are secreted all through the body, in neurons of both the central and peripheral nervous systems. The enzymes, cofactors and precursors in neurotransmitter metabolism in general are the same in the periphery and in the central nervous system. Therefore, alterations in urinary neurotransmitter levels assessed in urine provide important clinical information, and may be associated with many symptoms including cognitive and mood concerns, diminished drive, fatigue and sleep difficulties, cravings, addictions and pain.

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Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that facilitate the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across a synapse. Neurotransmitters work with receptors in the brain to influence and regulate a wide range of processes such as mental performance, emotions, pain response and energy levels. Functioning primarily in the Central Nervous System (CNS), neurotransmitters are the brain’s chemical messengers, facilitating communication among the body’s glands, organs, and muscles. Numerous clinical studies have shown that inadequate neurotransmitter function has a profound influence on overall health and well-being. In fact, imbalances in certain neurotransmitters are associated with most of the prevalent symptoms and conditions seen in practitioners offices today.

- Mood disorders; depression, anxiety

- Adrenal dysfunction; fatigue, insomnia

- Loss of mental focus; ADD, ADHD, cognitive fog

- Addiction and dependency

- Hormonal imbalances; E2 dominance, E2 deficiency, low androgens

- Loss of appetite control; insulin resistance

Compounding these symptoms of imbalance are the myriad of bioactive substances like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine and many of the medications used to manage these conditions as well as some cholesterol lowering medications. These substances and medications can contribute to neurotransmitter depletion and resulting symptoms by suppressing or artificially stimulating neurotransmitter receptor function.

When functioning properly the neurotransmission system has natural checks and balances in the form of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters. These are classified according to their effects on postsynaptic membranes (receptor sites). Excitatory neurotransmitters cause depolarization of the membrane and promote an action potential. Inhibitory neurotransmitters cause hyperpolarization and depresses or inhibit an action potential.

Creatinine

Optimal range: 30 - 225 mg/dL

Creatinine values are measured to correct results for urine dilution.

Creatinine is a waste product produced by muscles from the breakdown of a compound called creatine. Creatinine is filtered from the blood by the kidneys and released into the urine.

The amount of creatinine produced in the body is dependent on muscle mass and is relatively constant for an individual. The amount of creatinine removed from the blood depends on both the filtering ability of the kidneys and the rate at which blood is carried to the kidneys.

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Dopamine

Optimal range: 125 - 250 µg/g

Dopamine is largely responsible for regulating the pleasure reward pathway, memory and motor control. Its function creates both inhibitory and excitatory action depending on the dopaminergic receptor it binds to. Memory issues are common with both elevations and depressions in dopamine levels. Caffeine and other stimulants, such as medications for ADD/ADHD, often improve focus by increasing dopamine release, although continual stimulation of this release can deplete dopamine over time.

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Epinephrine

Optimal range: 1.6 - 8.3 µg/g

Epinephrine, often better known as adrenaline, is synthesized from norepinephrine in both the CNS and the adrenal medulla. Much like norepinephrine, this excitatory neurotransmitter helps regulate muscle contraction, heart rate, glycogen breakdown, blood pressure and more, and is heavily involved in a stress response. Elevated levels of epinephrine are often associated with hyperactivity, ADHD, anxiety, sleep issues, and low adrenal function. Over time, chronic stress and stimulation can deplete epinephrine stores leading to difficulty concentrating, fatigue, depression, insufficient cortisol production, chronic stress, poor recovery from illness, dizziness and more.

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Gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA)

Optimal range: 2 - 5.6 qmol/g

Gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter found in the CNS and, as such, is important for balancing excitatory action of other neurotransmitters.

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Glutamate

Optimal range: 12 - 45 qmol/g

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter and is considered to be the most abundant neurotransmitter in the nervous system. Glutamate is involved in most aspects of normal brain function including cognition, memory and learning, although high levels of glutamate can cause excitotoxicity, a process where nerve cells are damaged by excessive stimulation.

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Glycine

Optimal range: 450 - 2200 qmol/g

Glycine is inhibitory and plays dual roles as both a neurotransmitter and an amino acid that serves as a building block of proteins. Glycine improves sleep quality, calms aggression, and serves as an anti-inflammatory agent. Glycine has been shown to boost mental performance and memory.

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Histamine

Optimal range: 14 - 44 qg/g

Histamine is an excitatory neurotransmitter involved in the sleep/wake cycle and inflammatory response. Histamine plays a dual role in the body as both a neurotransmitter and immunomodulator increasing metabolism, promoting wakefulness, attention, circadian rhythms, learning, and memory.

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Norepinephrine

Optimal range: 22 - 50 µg/g

Norepinephrine, also called noradrenaline, is an excitatory neurotransmitter produced in the CNS, as well as a stress hormone produced in the adrenal medulla. Norepinephrine is involved in a wide variety of actions including attention, focus, regulating heart rate, affecting blood flow, and suppressing inflammation. Involved in arousal, it prepares the body for action by relaying messages in the sympathetic nervous system as part of the autonomic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response.

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Norepinephrine / Epinephrine ratio

Optimal range: 0 - 13 Ratio

The Norepinephrine / Epinephrine ratio is an indicator of epinephrine (adrenaline) conversion (epinephrine is synthesized from norepinephrine). Anxiety, burnout, and poor blood sugar control are associated with a relative epinephrine depletion, and thus an elevated Norepi:Epi ratio.

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Phenethylamine (PEA)

Optimal range: 32 - 84 nmol/g

Phenethylamine (PEA) promotes energy, elevates mood, regulates attention and aggression, and serves as a biomarker for ADHD. Elevated PEA may contribute to anxiety, with very high levels having amphetamine-like effects. Elevated PEA levels may be associated with higher cortisol levels. Low PEA may be associated with ADHD, depression, Parkinson’s disease and bipolar disorder.

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Serotonin

Optimal range: 60 - 125 µg/g

Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter that is involved in the regulation of sleep, appetite and aggression. Serotonin imbalance is a common contributor to mood problems, and pharmacologic agents that alter serotonin levels are among the most commonly used class of drugs prescribed for anxiety and depression.

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