GABA is short for gamma-aminobutyric acid.

It is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. This neurotransmitter is known to affect the central nervous system in many ways. GABA is made up of excitatory glutamatergic cells, that regulate functions in the central nervous system of the brain. It is known to reduce the neuronal excitability throughout different parts of the brain.

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It is also  known to decrease anxiety but has been found to improve the human mind many different ways. A recent discovery has allowed scientists  to focus their research towards the affect GABA has on a person’s memory.Even though there hasn’t been much findings in the neurotransmitter GABA, it has been named as the dominate regulator of neural activity in the brain. Many different impulses and responses go on inside of the brain alone, and one of the most used is memory. Memory and GABA don’t have much of a relationship just yet. Scientists still strive to find a relationship between the two. Once a relationship is discovered, through the enhancement of technology used to quantify it, discoveries in relation to other disorders, and understanding the neurochemical itself,  the y-aminobutyric acid may be able to do many more than it already has done for the the human brain.

  History of GABA GABA is a y-aminobutyric acid, whereas more than about 40% of a typical mammal brains contain GABA. Nobody really knew much of the neurotransmitter let alone that it is now an important acid that is able to to control different aspects inside of the brain. GABA was discovered in the spinal cord and brain stem about almost 40 years ago and has just recently been biochemically isolated. There has unfortunately not been much studies that are able to identify the effect GABA has on certain brain activity (Bowery, 2006). GABA is a an amino acid that does not contain any proteins and is formed by the “decarboxylation of glutamic acid” (Obata,2013). “Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a very important neurotransmitter that is intricately linked to neuronal function in general and to memory registration and encoding emotional and fear memory in anxiety disorders in particular” (Meyerhoff ,2014). GABA just now made its own appearance in the scientific world.

There are still a lot of studies to come that are sure to find relationships with the neurotransmitter GABA and functions  in the brain. GABA plays major inhibitory roles when it comes to physiological functions in the brain. It is found in the human cerebral cortex, that is known to be synthesized from Glu neurotransmitters. Glu is an excitatory neurotransmitter , that regulates the release of dopamine in the brain (Bollmann,2015). GABA and Glu both work in ways to enhance performances in the brain, scientists were able to find certain processes where they work together.

GABA plays a role in encoding certain information in the brain such as motor functions and learning in the brain. GABA is also involved in the processes in the frontal-striatal networks in the brain (Steenbergen, 2015). Scientific Breakdowns & Forms of GABAThe regular adult brain , typically uses up to about 20% of its energy in its body when it comes to activity in the brain.

Excitatory glutamatergic cells are cells that are also called cortical neurons. But, the remainder of the neurons during that 20% are called gaba-ergic inhibitory interneurons(Michels,2012). “The GABAA receptor complex has a pentameric structure comprising a variety of possible combinations of protein subunits” ( Bowery, 2006). The receptor complex is involved with the binding site for chemicals that regulate GABA and GABA itself. Benzodiazepines are groups that are able to regulate the structure of GABA in many different forms, and even able to regulate the responses given off by GABA transmissions (Bowery, 2006).  GABA has two present isoforms. The isoforms are GABAb(1a) and GABAb(1b. There is not much discovery when it comes to memory precision.

GABAb(1a) receptors are known to be required for maintenance towards fear memory and spatial memories (Cullen, 2014). Memory & GABA There are many different types of memory that goes on inside the brain. Such as recognition memory.

Recognition memory takes place inside the cognitive parts in the brain. Whereas recognition memory is the “capacity to know that something has been previously experienced, either individual stimuli or whole events”(Balderas, 2008). In amnesic patients, studies have shown that the medial temporal lobe has a significant loss of recognition memory. The recognition process is to be known through 2 aspects.

The aspects are the judgement of objects and the recollection of contextual information items (Balderas, 2008). Another kind of memory could also be described as working memory. They are tied to multitasking, planning, academic performance, and a wide range of other cognitive capacities. On going research has been taking place to find the relationship between GABA levels in the brain with working memory. Working memory is the capacity at which your brain is able to withhold information only for a certain amount of time, whereas the information it holds can be easily manipulated. Working memory is one of the basic foundations when it comes to human cognitive abilities and behavioral capabilities.

Working memory is primarily located in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain, that is where most of its activity goes on. Gabaergic interneurons are thought to be one of the main neurochemicals thought to be the basic regulators in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain (Yoon, 2016). The main excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain have been sought out to be GABA and Glutamate neurochemicals. These neurotransmitters are able to provide a big deal of regulation when it comes to many different types of cell functions in the brain (Mon, 2012). GABA and glutamate levels are somehow both linked to two different kinds of memory, memory associated with fear and memory registration. Low levels of GABA tend to become prone to obtain PTSD, which is a neurological disease in the brain (Meyerhoff, 2014). Diseases & GABAThere are many different findings when it comes to the levels of GABA in the brain and how they are tied to certain problems located in different regions of the human brain.

Several institutions were investigating the effect GABA had on the disease Parkinson’s and if there was a significant change in the GABA or glutamate during the memory tasks given. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that has to do with a person’s movement. Even though the disease is widely focused on your full range of movement, movement begins in the brain, between neurons. In the right subthalamic nucleus of patients with PD, the levels of glutamate and GABA during an implicit memory task are important.  The patients with PD that were studied had shown a  significant decrease in the “percent concentration of GABA and glutamate during the performance of the weather prediction task” (Buchanan, 2014). There has yet to be a change in neurotransmitter levels shown through the human brain, with the use of cognitive tasks. There also has not been a direct answer between the correlation of neurotransmitter dynamics and hemodynamic activities through tasks based on cognition.

They want to determine the baseline activity of GABA in the brain. An imbalance in the brain when it comes to neurotransmitters can cause many different types of disorder such as Parkinson’s Disease, ADHD, schizophrenia, and epilepsy. Neurotransmitter activity is related to the hemodynamic activity in the brain (Michels, 2012). There has been no trace that GABAergic transmissions cause a change in epilepsy. However, there has been shown that a decrease in GABA- mediated inhibition, can cause partial epilepsy.

Their use of rat intestines, are able to suggest that the use of GABA shares certain characteristics with other intestinal transporters. The cellular accumulation of GABA is relatively low, but is able to still show a correlation between the chemical dependency in the body(Thwaites, 2000). Major Depressive Disorder, also known as MDD affects almost 15 million American adults. Only ? of patients usually remit to the lag present by the anti-depressant after 6-8 weeks.

The use of ketamine could be used to control the treatment. Ketamine is a neurotransmitter that activates the mTOR pathway through AMPA receptors. In vivo brain studies, healthy subjects are shown to have an increase in glutamate and glutamine levels in reaction to the ketamine levels. This study is tested the hypothesis that ketamine “administration in depressed patients produce a rapid, robust surge in glutamatergic compounds in mPFC”( Milak, 2006). in order to determine the effect ketamine has on the GABA levels in the brain in response to the ketamine (Milak, 2016).In PTSD studies, GABA and Glu plasma concentration levels have not been able to to be measured properly. But, these measurements could allow a significant correlation in their biochemistry.

People who usually have a low GABA levels usually tend to be prone to have PTSD, has been shown in recent studies. The results showed that with significantly low GABA levels in the brain, in POC, the patients with PTSD will tend to have moderated poor sleep habits. Despite these findings, it is still unclear whether “ the decreased GABA concentrations re ect reduced GABA production or inhibited uptake by an intact population of neurons or a reduction in GABA-ergic cell number” (Meyerhoff, 2014). In metabolite levels and behavioral measures, the lower the NAA, Glu, and Cr concentrations were they tended to be they hand higher scores in this study. Epileptic seizures happen as a result to unequal distributions of  neurotransmitters in the human brain. This research is mainly composed around the findings of GABA, an inhibitory amino acid neurotransmitter. In order to truly understand the relationships between the neurotransmitter and epileptic seizures, there has to be a model that mimics the model of humans in that sA 3-MPA model is able to allow a more closely look at the concentration of the neurotransmitters.

They believed that GABA levels would securely return to their regular levels after the 3-MPA. But, that was not the case with this study. GABA levels relatively decreased and stayed below the baseline concentrations of the study (Crick, 2014). Hypothyroidism is a disorder in the endocrine system that is caused by the “underproduction of TH and is often associated with neuropsychiatric and cognitive change.” Many other studies have been able to show that there is a change in the brain structure of adults in subjects who have hypothyroidism. It is generally shown that thyroid hormones tend to have a significant change on the adult brain. As with the comparison between GABA and Glu levels, there was a decrease in the GABA levels in hypothyroidism patients then there were in the subjects used in the control group. GABA levels had a negative correlation when coming in relation to patients with hypothyroidism (Liu, 2017).

Technology Used When Testing GABA Many different forms of technology have been used to quantify each studies findings in relatively to GABA. The use of spectroscopy could be used to determine the effect ketamine has on the GABA levels in the brain in response to the ketamine. H MRS could be used to quantify these GABA findings through the reaction it has to the ketamine. MRI and MRS data was acquired through the use of neuroimaging,where in vivo in the brain spectra of GABA, was recorded for each method.

The models all ended up testing for two things. The “effect of time point in POMS score with time points as long as a  fixed effect and subject as a random time” (Milak, 2016). GABAergic neurotransmission are found to organize and direct certain neurological activity in the brain through gamma oscillations. Gamma oscillations are seen as the core development when it comes to information processing and cognition. Scientists are now being given a chance to be able to quantify the concentrations of GABA in the brain when it comes to working memory.  The spectroscopy method consisted of the use of a Siemens WIP sequence in order to calculate the GABA concentration in the brain (Yoon, 2016).

They used MRS in order to study the concentrations of GABA in the alcohol dependant test subjects through their withdrawal stages from alcohol. The H MRS fields have allowed a quantification of GABA levels in the brain. But still only a few studies using MRI have yet to distinguish an effect between GABA concentrations on AUD ( Mon, 2012).Studies & Their DiscoveriesThroughout each studies research, sometimes their findings did not relate back to their hypothesis.

Only such few studies had gained direct insight into what they were looking for.A study that focused on PD patients found, the declarative memory task averaged around 59 percent where patients could recall during the first 3 trials. Whereas in the implicit memory task, the patients scored an average of 52.8 percent. Both tests showed that there was no significant difference within the statistics.

Their analysis of the study showed there was no significance in the activity of GABA in the STN during declarative memory. They believe that GABA may have a big range of effect but not necessarily a direct effect in the brain with PD patients(Buchanan, 2014).This studies results proved their hypothesis that the temporal lobes are all involved with long-term object and object-in-context memory differently. Overall the research suggested that the different structures in the temporal lobe are differently involved when it comes to recognition memory in the brain (Balderas, 2008). This research focused on the relations between WM and GABA levels.

The results concluded that the average GABA levels had a significant increase in the subject groups  through the WMI testing. The baseline had a significant decrease in the concentration through the WM runs. The decrease in GABA levels show a “strong negative correlation.” The scientists did not get a complete answer to their research and testings.

But, they concluded that the correlation found between GABA and the WM tasks may suggest a correlation between neurotransmitter levels and hemodynamic changes in the brain (Cognitive Neuroscience: Memory, 2012).When working with memory load and its capacity in relation to GABA, this study showed that for the first time, the amount of GABA concentration in a person’s brain in the ” prefrontal cortex, is able to predict the working memory task performance.” They even suggests that an increase of preservation of GABA levels could possibly be able to help in neuropsychiatric conditions (Yoon, 2016). When working with ADHD patients, scientists found all of their results show that the developmental communications in the brain have an effect on the GABA levels in ADHD patients. There might be a correlation between the age difference that allowed there to be change between the GABA levels in children and adults. Unfortunately, the scientists did not prove their hypotheses. But, rather found that there are altered levels of GABA in ADHD patients that are able to allow a change in a person’s developmental parts of the brain (Bollmann, 2015).


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