Gaba Receptors

Written by Amy Hall
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GABA receptors are in all probability the most common kind in the nervous system of all mammals. There are estimates that close to 40 percent of all the synapses in the human brain function with GABA and therefore have GABA receptors. It is also known that GABA receptors are considered channel receptors, which essentially means that when GABA binds to them, they change shape to allow ions to pass through the central channel.

The central channel permits negatively charged chloride neurons to enter the neuron, thereby decreasing its excitability. Due to this fact, GABA is classified as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, as opposed to an excitatory neurotransmitter. Gamma Amino Butyric Acid is considered an amino acid as well as a neurotransmitter, which is manufactured in the brain.

GABA Receptors and Anxiety

The main function of GABA is to reduce the activity of the neurons to which it binds. Some scientists believe that one of the specific purposes of GABA is to control the fear or anxiety experienced when neurons are overexcited. This scientific hypothesis is backed up by the fact that certain medications used to treat anxiety bind to the same neurological receptors as GABA.

Medications such as Valium and Librium work with GABA to reduce neural activity even more. When benzodiazepines work with GABA, anxiety can be controlled so that a person with an anxiety disorder can function in everyday life. As you can see, GABA plays a significant role in the way we handle stressful stimuli that can induce extreme anxiety.


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