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ID 1151

GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric Acid)

Professor Trevor Robbins describes the GABA (or GABAergic) system, whose main function in the brain is inhibition.
The GABAergic system is one of the two important amino acid systems in the brain. The glutamate system is responsible for fast signaling, for excitation. The GABA system is responsible for fast signaling inhibition. So, it is like the off switch in an electrical network, it responds very quickly. The cortex, the neocortex and the hippocampus are made up of networks of neurons which work by on and off switches, by glutamate and GABAergic neurons. So, GABA is a very interesting neurotransmitter because drugs such as the benzodiazepines or Liprium work by affecting GABA. They enhance GABAergic function and hence produce anxiolysis or anxiety reduction.
GABA, GABAergic, inhibition, neurotransmitter, Benzodiapins, Liprium, neocortex, hippocampus, neurons, cortex, brain, anxiolysis, anxiety, trevor, robbins,
Creative Commons License This work by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Related content:

811. The Glutamate System
Professor Trevor Robbins describes some of the key functions of the excitatory glutamate system, which is integral to information processing and long-term potentiation.
1147. The Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine) System
Professor Trevor Robbins describes the noradrenaline system, which is highly involved in arousal.
1439. Biochemicals - Excitation and Inhibition
Doctor Josh Dubnau explains that the genes active in different neurons can make them excitatory (e.g. glutamate) or inhibitory (e.g. GABA). These neurotransmitters are critical to learning.
813. The Serotonergic System
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with a number of cognitive disorders, namely depression, bipolar and schizophrenia. Professor Trevor Robbins explains how the serotoninergic system works.
1154. Basal Ganglia - Primary Functions
Professor Trevor Robbins discusses the function of a set of structures called the basal ganglia, which seem to be involved in response selection.
1150. Acetylcholine and the Cholinergic System
Professor Trevor Robbins discusses two functions of the cholinergic (acetylcholine) system. One is involved in arousal and memory, the other in the sleep/waking cycle.
916. GABRB3 Gene
GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain. GABRA3 is a candidate gene for autism.
812. The Dopamine System
Professor Trevor Robbins explains that the dopamine system is a group of cells originating in the midbrain whose function may be to prepare the brain to think, move, and anticipate rewards.
1199. ADHD - Noradrenaline and Dopamine
Professor Trevor Robbins discusses ADHD in relation to noradrenaline and dopamine, both of which are enhanced by ADHD medications such as Ritalin.
485. GABA Neurotransmitter
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a very common neurotransmitter in the Central Nervous System, whose primary function is to inhibit the transmission of a signal through a neuron.
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