5-HTP / serotonin and symptom reduction

Has anyone noticed 5-HTP or an anti-depressant (that also increases serotonin) reducing tremors? I started taking 5-HTP 5 days ago due to comments here. I'm trying to find out why my tremors stopped 4 days ago when I did the alcohol test. I stopped the alcohol that day due to cold symptoms, but the tremors have not returned. This is the first time in nearly a year.

PD reduces not just dopamine, but also melatonin and serotonin. So the anti-depressants are not simply a "patch" for depression. What I mean to say is that I think it is important for PD patients to realize PD directly reduces serotonin that leads to depression symptoms. Patients and their family should not think they lack a "moral fortitude" or are "not trying hard enough" to be happy.

Same thing goes with motivation. They should not feel guilty or be made to feel guilty for not being motivated. Dopamine is the motivation neurotransmitter, and they are missing it.

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14 Replies

  • Hi ZAWY are you taking any other prescription tablets like madapar or comtan or the other tabs like that I too have looked into 5htP and asked my Neurologist he said just keep taking you prescribed meds it's doing the same thing as 5HTP would do only its more controlled however I would prefer to try something that was natural

    Do you go off your prescription drugs or introduce 5HTP. Slowly I could not get much info from my doctor does any one have more info on this has there been clinic all trials. And or studies of this product

    Thanks Sunnysky

  • Only rasagiline

  • Hi Zawy. Please tell us all exactly what you did to get rid of the tremors>

    Is there any scientific information of the serotonin or melotonin?


  • I don't know what I did. I posted a few days ago that my tremors reduced substantially 30 minutes after a glass of wine. That is very rare. My thumb tremor is very consistent, from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. I do a video of it before and after any tests. I drank two more glasses that day to keep it gone most of the day. I did many things that day, but nothing in the 30 minutes after the wine. Then I got a little sick the next day and did not do any thumb test. I very often have an underlying cold or flue show up 12 hours after drinking alcohol. I also have a reduction in symptoms after the cold/flu. OK, so it was not too much of a surprise to see no tremor on day 2 after the alcohol because it was after a cold/flu. Day 3 there was no tremor and it got me to wondering. Today is day 5 and still no tremor. By "no tremor" I mean you have to look closely in the video to see it instead of it being so obvious.

    There are many possibilities. The alcohol and cold/flu seemed to let something else I've been doing "kick in". The things I've been doing are extreme. More consistent lately with 1 strenuous hour exercise and rasagiline. Specific citrus compounds amounting to eating 30 grapefruits and 30 tangerines per day. More greens in my diet. 1.5 hours naked under 1000 Watts of halogen work lights to simulate 8 hours of sun exposure. 30 minutes of a 150 Watt infrared LED light helmet I made (1800 LEDs 850 nm) that I use while on the stationary bike. I'm bald and therefore this gets a proven therapeutic dose to about 30% of the brain's cortex, which is not supposed to be affected in early PD, but it may have an effect. Hanging upside down for 10 minutes per day with gravity boots to squeeze out any excess fluid on the brain. 6 black tea extract pills per day. Recently I started 10 mg melatonin. These are the recent increases from my regular nutrient routine. The melatonin and 5-HTP arrived 19 days before the alcohol test. I delayed taking the 5 HTP, so maybe I had only 5 consistent days of it before the alcohol test. It is also the only completely new thing I've done. I also started MSM very recently, a teaspoon per day.

    I've spoken many times about a crease in between my eyebrows in my forehead that is a sign of mental stress. The crease is also gone. My guess right now is that the combination of exercise, rasagiline, melatonin, and 5-HTP is what has done it, but the 1 day of alcohol had to somehow get my brain over some kind of hurdle. I tried it again yesterday and it did not do anything to reduce the minor tremor that remains. My tremors are only when I put my thumb in a specific position. It's very minor in the whole hand when holding it out, barely detectable from other people my age (48).

    The full body light 1.5 hours per day is also new and will be the 2nd thing I checked after 5-HTP.

    A real possibility is that some combination of things has been helping, but that I did not notice until I stopped the exercise. I just did 30 minutes bicycle work for first time since the alcohol test. It could be as simple as "exercise", but that only after removing the stress of daily exercise I have been able to notice the improvement. My tremor was not there early this morning, but now after exercise I can see it coming back.

    Yes, there is plenty of research into melatonin and serotonin being decreased in those with PD, and the benefits increases in them have on PD mice. Just search pubmed "parkinson's serotonin". It is known that we can increase these hormones in the brain, so unlike many other nutrients, any animal work is much more likely to have the same effect in people. Especially hormones.

    I focused on serotonin (a result of 5-HTP) because there were some papers showing it reduced tremors in mice. The following are just a sampling of the variety of papers.

    "alpha-synuclein inclusions in the serotonergic system may account for anxiety and depression symptoms in PD."


    "alpha-synuclein severely affects hippocampal neurogenesis paralleled by impaired 5-HT neurotransmission prior to the onset of aggregation pathology and overt motor deficits in this transgenic rat model of PD"


    "PD patients taking SSRIs showed significantly decreased [uptake] in the [raphe nuclei]"


    "[VMAT disruption] significantly disrupts serotonergic signaling, but does not drive degeneration of serotonin neurons." [VMAT disruption causes PD]



    It could be that taking rasagiline this year had an L-dopa-like effect in causing a slight dyskinasea that is appearing like a classic PD tremor.


    Sometime I'll upload a video of my thumb tremor before and after. I've stopped the 5-HTP to see if the tremors will come back, then I'll start it again when they do, and keep doing a daily video, and more if there is a change. Then I'll compile the short clips into a 5 minute video.

  • Hi Zawy. It is very hard to take any notice of any one thing if you are doing several experiments at the same time. Do no changes in anything for at least two weeks before doing any single test. The record the results for at least a week. The let us all know what the results of the 5-HTP are.



  • Right, so my idea is to not change anything except remove the 5-HTP since it is the newest and my best guess. If the tremors return and then I add the 5-HTP back, and they go away, and then do the cycle again with videos each day, then that's proof enough for me.

  • My post was to see if others were having as much success with serotonin in reducing tremors as they were for a little alcohol. Apparently not, since no one has stated any tremor benefit from SSRI-type anti-depressants or 5-HTP and at least 10 here should be doing on of the two. But then again, no one has said they did NOT notice a benefit, so as far as I still know 100% of people on serotonin boosters might be reducing tremors.

  • Good idea Zawy if testing something don't confuse your body by doing several things at once just stick to one new thing and after a few weeks see the results thanks for your long post it was quite informative I think a lot of us are very interested in your results re 5-HTP as a naturel replacement for prescription dopamine

    Cheers Sunnysky

  • John Schappi who has either posted here or has people referring to his blog now and then has a "glowing review" of 5-HTP, and a warning that Carbidopa in L-Dopa formulation amplifies it by a factor of 8. So it might be best to try 1/4 of 1 pill when first starting out. This is the amount he found to be the right amount, but even this was too much when his carbidopa was increased.


  • Thanks for the link Zawy I didn't realise it was a link I am not very tec savvy anyhow there's a lot of helpful info there so thanks for your reply

    Cheers Sunnysky

  • I stopped 5-HTP 2 days ago and the tremor has not returned. If the 5-HTP was it, I expected it to be back by now.

    Top of my list of other possibilities is the halogen light bed I made (basically laying for 30 minutes to an hour below 1000 W from a work light with no clothes on), sweating out about 1 pound of water.

    It seems to start to come back when I'm hungry, i.e., low blood sugar. So it could be something like the halogen light improving blood sugar.

  • I don't want to rain on anybody's parade, but there is evidence that 5-HTP can cause problems when used with carbidopa. From the website sclero.org/scleroderma/caus... there is this statement: "The supplement 5 Hydroxytryptophan (5HTP) should not be used alongside the Parkinsons drug carbidopa as it can cause skin changes similar to those that seen with the disease scleroderma." (Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease.) Has anyone using both 5-HTP and carbidopa had any experience with this?

  • Update: my tremors still have not returned. I stopped everything that was potentially new and a source of the decreased tremors a few days ago. I'm "afraid" the tremors will not come back unless I stop everything for a month. "Unfortunately" it appears something in my brain was "fixed" which means I would have to wait for new damage and test very slowly by adding things back in one at a time to fix it again in order to identify what it was. Right now I have to decide how long I'm going to tolerate lack of sleep before adding melatonin back in. Certainly the 2 or 3 weeks of melatonin (sleeping deeper) that preceded the sudden lack of tremor could have been the cause of the improvement. I'm a little more dizzy than normal this morning, so I have hope my condition will soon get worse so I can add something back in to see if that was it (like intense light therapy or melatonin).

  • you think it's the sweating, that engages immune system can be it? sweating clears the system of a lot of toxins.

    too quick cleanup is detrimental. maybe that's reflected in your reversal, which is not really a reversal. saunas and fasting detox.

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