Differences Between Neurotransmitters vs Hormones

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

Neurotransmitters and hormones are both chemicals in the body that help to regulate various biological processes. Neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, play a role in mood regulation. Hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen, can also affect mood but also have other roles in physical development. For example, when you’re feeling down or stressed it’s common for people to turn to sugar or caffeine – these substances activate neurotransmitter pathways in the brain to improve mood. On the other hand when we’re feeling low on energy levels our brain releases hormones like adrenaline which helps us feel more alert and ready for action.

Neurotransmitters and hormones are both chemical messengers that help the body communicate. Neurotransmitters usually elicit a faster response than hormones do, because they can cross synapses in seconds as opposed to minutes with hormones. They also have different functions: neurotransmitters regulate thought and movement while hormones control metabolic processes such as growth and sexual development. The biggest difference is that neurotransmitter release is controlled by neurons, which secrete them onto other cells; whereas hormone release occurs from specialized glands or organs like the thyroid gland or ovaries. Hormones are often released into the bloodstream for long-distance communication with other parts of the body, but not always – some stay local to their source organ without affecting other parts of the body at all.

Comparison between Neurotransmitters and Hormones

Parameters of ComparisonNeurotransmittersHormones
Chemical messengersAre Chemical messengersAre Chemical messengers
SystemNeurotransmitters use the synapses to send messages from one neuron to anotherHormones travel through the bloodstream, which carries them all over your body
Effect emotionThat effects emotionThat effects emotion
BrokenCan be brokenCan be broken
ChangeChange the behaviorChange the behavior

What are Neurotransmitters?

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit nerve impulses across the gap, or synapse, between two neurons. Neurotransmitters can be classified into three major categories: amino acids (such as glutamate and GABA), peptides (such as oxytocin and vasopressin), and monoamines (including norepinephrine). These neurochemicals act locally to affect either one target neuron or many of the same type of neuron. Some neurotransmitter substances are released by axons onto dendrites belonging to other cells; these include acetylcholine, dopamine, epinephrine/adrenaline, serotonin, histamine. 

Neurotransmitters are essential for the communication between nerve cells in the brain. They play a role in mood, memory, learning, and Sleep. Disorders such as depression and anxiety can be caused by problems with neurotransmitter levels. There are a variety of treatments available that can help to regulate neurotransmitter function. It is important to understand how Neurotransmitters work to optimize treatment options.

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What are Hormones?

Hormones are chemicals that are produced by the body and act as messengers. They travel through the bloodstream to different parts of the body, where they affect how the organs work. Hormones play an important role in controlling many body functions, such as growth, reproduction, and energy balance. Different hormones control different processes in the body. For example, insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, while estrogen is a hormone that regulates menstruation and fertility. There are many different types of hormones, and each one has a specific role to play in the body.

Hormones are chemicals that help regulate the functions of your body. These hormonal changes can affect mood, memory, and behavior. Hormones can also be affected by other factors such as age, stress levels, exercise habits, and sleep patterns. While hormones cannot be controlled or changed on their own they can be influenced to some extent by changes in diet and lifestyle choices. This blog post will break down the basics of hormones including what they are made up of, how they work to keep you healthy, common problems caused by hormone imbalance (such as weight gain), and steps you can take to help balance your hormones for a healthier life. 

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10 Differences Between Neurotransmitters and Hormones

1. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that affect the behavior of cells in the brain, whereas hormones are secreted by endocrine glands and travel through the blood to other parts of the body.

2. Neurotransmits can be either excitatory or inhibitory; they modify how an individual’s neurons communicate with one another, while hormones influence many different types of bodily processes.

3. Hormones can act at a distance from their site of release (i.e., when released into the bloodstream), but neurotransmitters usually act locally on nearby cells.

4. When neurotransmitter levels drop too low, it causes depression or anxiety disorders; when hormone levels drop too low, it causes thyroid conditions or diabetes.

5.Some neurotransmitters include dopamine and serotonin, which control mood balance and appetite respectively; some common examples of hormones include estrogen and testosterone.

6. A neuron is made up entirely out of protein, whereas a cell in an endocrine gland contains both proteins as well as DNA-containing chromosomes.

7. The amount that hormones bind to receptors plays a large role in determining what effects they have on an organism’s physiology – for example, high concentrations will cause greater responses than low concentrations would.

8. Neurotransmitters are released by neurons in the brain, while hormones are secreted by endocrine glands.

9. Hormones can be classified as either peptide or steroid hormones.

10. Neurotransmitters regulate mood and behavior, while hormones regulate growth and metabolism.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of  Neurotransmitters

1. The average person has around 100 billion neurons.

2. The brain is the most complicated organ in the human body.

3. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that communicate information between neurons.

4. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood and sleep, but it can also be found in plants like fruits or vegetables.

5. Dopamine is responsible for motor control, attention span, and motivation.

6. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter meaning it slows down neuron activity to regulate how much excitation there will be in your brain at any given time.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Hormones

1. Hormones are responsible for regulating mood, hunger, sleep, and sexual desire.

2. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are the main female sex hormones.

3. Men have two types of testosterone – free testosterone and bound testosterone.

4. Testosterone is an important hormone in men because it helps with muscle growth and bone density.

5. Estrogen is a hormone that plays a role in pregnancy by preparing the uterus for implantation of an embryo into the uterine wall.

6. Progesterone also plays a role in pregnancy because it maintains the lining of the uterus to support implantation if conception occurs; however, if there is no fertilization or implantation then progesterone levels will drop off after about 12 weeks of gestation (the process leading up to birth) to prepare for menstruation again.


Neurotransmitters and hormones are both chemicals that transmit signals from one nerve cell to another. They have different functions but work together in a complex system of communication between the brain and body. In this post, we will discuss some key differences between these two types of chemical messengers to help you understand their interplay better. -Neurotransmitters release information from one neuron into the synapse (a small space) where it is then picked up by neurons on the other side of the synaptic gap or cleft for further processing. Most neurotransmitter receptors can be found on dendrites (branching projections) near receptor cells at the end of axons, which make them easier targets for incoming messages than those located farther away in the body.-Hormones are secreted by endocrine glands and travel through the bloodstream to their target cells.


Resource 01: https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain/brain-physiology/what-are-neurotransmitters
Resource 02: https://medlineplus.gov/hormones.html

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