Depression and impaired quality of life (QOL) are frequently observed in patients suffering from a variety of diseases. In addition, it has been reported that an enhanced degradation of the serotonin precursor tryptophan may contribute to QOL deterioration in some diseases. However, it is unclear whether the correlation between the QOL scores and the central serotonergic tone is only mediated by the severity of either the depression symptoms or the physical illness itself.
The present study examined the relationship between serotonin transporter (SERT) availability and life quality as measured by the World Health Organization Quality of Life brief version questionnaire (WHO-QOL) in healthy participants in order to exclude the influence of depressive mood and disease. The SERT availability in the midbrain was approximated using SPECT with [123I] ADAM ligand in fifty-eight healthy volunteers. The overall rating sub scores of the WHO-QOL correlated positively with serotonin transporter availability in the males. Central serotoninergic activity may play a role in the overall rating scores of the WHO-QOL.