GABA

An important chemical in the brain’s memory region that enables us to censor unwanted thoughts has been pinpointed by a University of Cambridge study. The finding helps scientists understand why people who suffer from disorders like depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety often experience repeated intrusive thoughts when these circuits malfunction. “Our ability… Read more

Drugs that target the neurotransmitter GABA could serve as rapidly acting and more effective antidepressants, suggest new tests in mice. Research team leader Bernhard Lüscher, professor of biology and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, said: “GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain—it acts as the ‘brakes’ of neural activity—and its… Read more

At the flip of a switch, University of California, Berkeley, neuroscientists can send a sleeping mouse into dreamland. The researchers inserted an optogenetic switch into a group of nerve cells located in the ancient part of the brain called the medulla, allowing them to activate or inactivate the neurons with laser light. When the neurons… Read more

Sleep is usually considered an all-or-nothing state: The brain is either entirely awake or entirely asleep. However, MIT neuroscientists have discovered a brain circuit that can trigger small regions of the brain to fall asleep or become less alert, while the rest of the brain remains awake. This circuit originates in a brain structure known… Read more

A chemical in the brain could potentially be harnessed to help young people with Tourette Syndrome (TS) to overcome the physical and vocal tics associated with the neurological disorder, say researchers. Academics from The University of Nottingham reviewed recent evidence that the neurochemical known as Gamma Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is responsible for dampening down the… Read more