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GABA Deficiency – Causes and Treatments

GABA Deficiency – Causes and Treatments

This neurotransmitter is affected by Avipaxin, LoraQuil, Taurine, and Nuvoxil

 Daily experiences put us in stressful situations when our brains need to think rapidly or make decisions hastily. The same is true with the internal brain circuitry when they send messages to each other in a rapid succession causing restlessness and agitation. This is where the brain’s inhibitory function comes in. To decrease the excitation and the rate through which messages are sent across the brain cells, the brain releases a neurotransmitter called GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is primarily used to treat anxiety problems.


There are certain conditions wherein the natural supply of GABA in the brain is not sufficient to do its primary job. There are modifiable and non-modifiable factors.


Diet is one of the causes of GABA deficiency. GABA is synthesized by neurons with the help of a substance called glutamate decarboxylase and the active form of vitamin B6 called pyridoxal phosphate. Without either component, GABA cannot be synthesized by the body. Diets that are low on vitamin B6 can have an effect in the production of GABA and is only remedied by eating foods rich in vitamin B6 or taking vitamin B6 supplements.


When persons with anxiety are treated with anxiolytics or anti-anxiety drugs, the GABA receptors, through which GABA binds in order to have its effect on cells, are modified. Prolonged use can have a permanent effect on the morphology of the receptors modifying it to accommodate the drugs.


In some cases, the body’s own immune system may destroy glutamate decarboxylase leading to the deficiency of the catalyst to synthesize GABA. Without it, GABA cannot be produced.


Signs and symptoms of GABA deficiency are similar to that of anxiety such as restlessness, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, palpitations and stress. Since there is a deficiency in the inhibitory neurotransmitter, the nerve activities are constantly active and there are no brakes to slow it down.


GABA deficiency is treated with diet modification or by taking GABA supplements. Before resorting to artificial GABA, make sure it is approved by your physician to avoid any unwanted interactions with any drugs you might be taking as well.

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