Serotonin 2A receptors, or 5-HT2A receptors, are molecules that interact with serotonin. These 5-HT2A receptors are thought to bind with hallucinogens as well. Serotonin 2A receptors are also thought to play a role in learning and memory. Serotonin 2A receptors are also implicated in a number of mental health disorders.
Serotonin acts as a chemical messenger in your body, and is responsible for communicating messages throughout the body as well as constricting blood vessels.
Low levels of serotonin are thought to be associated with mental health disorders, such as depression.
Serotonin 2A Receptors And Hallucinogens
Scientists suspect that psychoactive compounds interact with the 5-HT2A serotonin receptors — and that’s how a hallucinogenic experience is produced.
The FDA has recently designated psychedelic-based treatments as breakthrough therapies for mental health disorders. It is thought that this interaction with the serotonin 2A receptor is a key reason these treatments continue to indicate positive outcomes for patients.
Using advanced imaging techniques, researchers have focused on investigating how hallucinogens bind with the serotonin 2A receptors. This research is aimed at isolating the mechanism of action for psychoactive compounds — so that the development of medications to treat depression, anxiety, and substance abuse can be further expedited.