GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and Glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter. GABA is formed from glutamate by the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase3. The two receptors for GABA are GABAA and GABAB, found in the postsynaptic membrane4. GABAA receptors are fast-acting, ligand-gated channels which, when open, allows Cl- ions to enter the cell, this is inhibitory as the movement of these ions into the cell decreases the membrane potential and so is further away from the threshold to trigger an action potential. GABA can be used to treat various disorders, including anxiety disorders, as it can rectify an imbalance in the amount of glutamate (which is excitatory) 5.
- ↑ http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/news/GABA.html
- ↑ http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/flash/d/d_04/d_04_m/d_04_m_peu/d_04_m_peu.html
4. Ion Channels and Disease. Frances M. Ashcroft. Elsevier. 2000
5.Lydiard RB. The role of GABA in anxiety disorders. Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12662130