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Monticello Media is a new Charlottesville-based company formed solely to purchase and operate six radio stations in Charlottesville as of October 2007. We do not have radio stations in any other markets. Our only focus and interest is serving Charlottesville area listeners and businesses. As a privately-held company, we don't have to weigh the whims of Wall Street against the needs of the constituents we serve.

Monticello Media's station mix is based on custom research conducted in the Charlottesville market. Our stations are designed to satisfy the interest and desires of our community and to allow area businesses to reach the most desirable consumers.

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Support for the role of serotonin in PMS is growing all the time. In early 1995 researchers from the UK Medical Research Council's brain metabolism unit in Edinburgh, Scotland, found that oestrogen stimulates the production of receptors in the brain that respond to serotonin.

The work was carried out on rats who had had their ovaries removed so that they could not produce oestrogen. Half the rats were given a dose of oestrogen and 24 hours later the rats' brains were examined. Brains from the oestrogen-treated rats took up more serotonin - and therefore had more serotonin receptors - than the brains from rats which had not been dosed with oestrogen.

The researchers also discovered that oestrogen increases the activity of a gene that is involved in the production of the serotonin receptor in the brain.

The Edinburgh researchers are currently studying women to see if what happens in rats also happens in humans. This time they are using "high-tech' brain scans to detect serotonin to see if the density of receptors changes during the menstrual cycle in line with the rises and falls In oestrogen. If oestrogen is found to affect serotonin receptors then it may explain why antidepressant drugs which Increase serotonin levels have been shown to treat the anxiety symptoms of PMS successfully.

In fact there is already evidence that serotonin levels are lower in women with PMS. Blood tests have shown lower levels of serotonin in women with PMS than in those without the condition.

American research into the links between the food we eat and our mood further supports the serotonin theory. It has been shown that foods that are high in sugars and starches lead to an increase in a chemical called tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin by the body.

Ifs thought that the monthly craving for sugary foods which some women experience may be the body's way of saying it needs more serotonin. In practice, however, much of the food we eat also contains small amounts of fat which would cancel out the serotonin-boost of the sugar. So, in fact, a binge on sugary snacks is not an effective way of cheering yourself up.