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Neurotransmitter Testing Menu

Neurotransmitter imbalances can be easily identified with a single noninvasive urine sample. Testing provides a tool to understand each patient’s specific neuroendocrine imbalances, which can be corrected with targeted nutritional therapy, BHRT, diet, and lifestyle interventions. Because it is especially important to understand the interrelationships of the neurotransmitters as well as their relationships with adrenal and sex hormones, an optimal approach measures each of the neurotransmitter levels identified here in addition to a full hormone profile.

Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), Estriol (E3), Progesterone (Pg), Testosterone (T), DHEA (D), Cortisol x 4 (C), Serotonin (S), GABA (GA), Dopamine (DP), Epinephrine (E), Norepinephrine (NE), Glutamate (GLU), Glycine (GLY), Histamine (HST), Phenethylamine (PEA)

The NeuroHormone Complete Plus profile includes estrone (E1) and estriol (E3) plus the estrogen quotient. The addition of neurotransmitters to the Comprehensive Plus hormone-only profile provides insight on how HPA axis function may be contributing to symptom manifestation such as mood swings, fatigue, and pain. Because the research on the estrogen quotient and the protective properties of estriol has not been done with men, this profile is currently recommended for women only. This profile should be considered for patients who have:

  • Increased risk of developing breast cancer
  • History of breast cancer or other hormonally sensitive cancers
  • Personal or strong family history of autoimmune disease
  • PCOS
  • Estrogen dominance related symptoms

Estradiol (E2), Progesterone (Pg), Testosterone (T), DHEA (D), Cortisol x 4 (C), Serotonin (S), GABA (GA), Dopamine (DP), Epinephrine (E), Norepinephrine (NE), Glutamate (GLU), Glycine (GLY), Histamine (HST), Phenethylamine (PEA)

This profile is the best starting point for initial assessment of hormonal status, adrenal function and neurotransmitter balance. This profile is important for both men and women, providing baseline and monitoring information for patients of all ages. It is especially useful in individuals who are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Mood disorders, depression, anxiety
  • Addiction, dependency
  • Fatigue, lack of stamina, insomnia
  • Chronic illness, immune deficiency
  • Cognitive confusion, learning challenges, declining memory
  • Weight issues, appetite control
  • Low libido, sexual dysfunction
  • PMS, menopause, andropause
  • Fibromyalgia, chronic pain

DHEA (D), Cortisol x 4 (C), Serotonin (S), GABA (GA), Dopamine (DP), Epinephrine (E), Norepinephrine (NE), Glutamate (GLU), Glycine (GLY), Histamine (HST), Phenethylamine (PEA)

This profile provides a comprehensive view of HPA axis function. Included is a full diurnal cortisol pattern, DHEA, and 6 primary neurotransmitters (inhibitory and excitatory). Symptoms that would indicate ordering this profile include those shown for the Adrenal Function profile plus:

  • Mood disorders, depression, anxiety
  • Addiction, dependency
  • Chronic illness, immune deficiency
  • Low libido, sexual dysfunction

For providers who want a more comprehensive look at neurotransmitter secretion and the metabolism of these markers, consider the Comprehensive Neurotransmitter Profile. This profile includes all of the markers that are part of the NeuroBasic Profile (Serotonin, GABA, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, Glutamate, Glycine, Histamine, and Phenethylamine), with the addition of the following:

DOPAC: DOPAC is the primary metabolite of dopamine formed via the actions of the MAO enzyme. When DOPAC is elevated and dopamine is low/low range, slowing the activity of the MAO enzyme may help to increase dopamine levels.

3-MT: 3-MT is formed by direct metabolism of dopamine by the COMT enzyme. Very high levels of 3-MT may have stimulant qualities. When 3-MT is elevated and dopamine is low/low range, slowing the activity of the COMT enzyme may help to increase dopamine levels.

Normetanephrine: Normetanephrine is a metabolite of norepinephrine formed via the actions of the COMT enzyme. When normetanephrine is elevated and norepinephrine is low/ low range, slowing the activity of the COMT enzyme may help to increase/maintain norepinephrine levels.

Metanephrine: Metanephrine is a metabolite of epinephrine formed via the actions of the COMT enzyme. When metanephrine is elevated and epinephrine is low/low range, slowing the activity of the COMT enzyme may help to increase/maintain norepinephrine levels.

5-HIAA: Clinically, urinary 5-HIAA is an indicator of serotonin synthesis and metabolism by the MAO enzyme. Some medications as well as dietary consumption of foods rich in serotonin (avocados, eggplant, tomatoes, bananas, melons, pineapple, grapefruit, plums, nuts/nut butters) may elevate 5-HIAA levels. It is recommended to avoid these foods for 3 days prior to sample collection. When 5-HIAA is elevated and serotonin is low/low range, slowing the activity of the MAO enzyme may help to increase serotonin levels.

Tryptamine: Tryptamine is a trace amine derived directly from tryptophan by a vitamin B6-dependent enzyme. Trace amines (tryptamine, tyramine, PEA) may have stimulant effects at high levels. Tryptophan supplementation may increase tryptamine levels. Decreased tryptamine levels may be associated with depression. Tryptamine is normally metabolized by MAO; low enzyme activity may increase tryptamine levels.

Tyrosine: Tyrosine is the amino acid precursor for dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Low tyrosine levels may increase irritability and lower mood, mental performance, energy levels, body temperature and thyroid function. Tyrosine hydroxylase converts tyrosine into the dopamine precursor L-DOPA.

Tyramine: Tyramine is a trace amine derived directly from tyrosine by a vitamin B6-dependent enzyme. Trace amines (tryptamine, tyramine, PEA) may have stimulant effects at high levels. Foodstuffs such as hard cheeses, chocolates, and red wines contain large amounts of tyramine. Decreased tyramine levels may be associated with depression. Tyramine is normally metabolized by MAO; low enzyme activity may increase tyramine levels.

Taurine: Taurine is an essential amino acid that has an inhibitory effect on neurons; it is important for balancing the action of excitatory neurotransmitters, particularly glutamate. Symptoms of elevated taurine may include apathy, sleep changes, irritability, recklessness, poor concentration, aches and pains, or social withdrawal. Taurine is an ingredient in many “energy drinks.” Decreased CNS taurine synthesis has been reported in individuals with autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Serotonin (S), GABA (GA), Dopamine (DP), Epinephrine (E), Norepinephrine (NE), Glutamate (GLU), Glycine (GLY), Histamine (HST), Phenethylamine (PEA)

The NeuroBasic profile is a good tool for monitoring therapeutic interventions of neurotransmitter imbalances previously tested, or when symptoms indicate an imbalance. Includes inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters.