Gaba & benzodiazepines

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This file accompanies a Youtube clip - which outlines the role that a dysfunctional GABA system can play in the development of anxiety disorders (phobias) and how Benzodiazepenes can be used to manage this.

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  • Thus GABA regulates neuronal excitabilty in the nervous system
  • Thus GABA regulates neuronal excitabilty in the nervous systemNote: Agonistic is a compound that imitates the effect of a neurotransmitter, Antagonistic – is a compound that blocks the effects of a neurotransmittersWithout GABA there would be excessive neural activity leading to seizures
  • Thus GABA regulates neuronal excitabilty in the nervous system
  • Thus GABA regulates neuronal excitabilty in the nervous system
  • Gaba & benzodiazepines

    1. 1. GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric acid)• Is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitters in the C.N.S• Counteracts the effects of Glutamate• Via the uptake of negatively charged chloride ions to pass through the postsynaptic neuron.• Hence post synaptic neuron – less responsive to excitatory neurotransmitters• Thus GABA has a sedative (tranquilising effect) on the brain
    2. 2. Dysfunctional GABA system• Normally GABA inhibits physiological responses to an anxiety producing stimulus• People with a predisposition to phobic disorders have a GABA deficiency (reduced levels of GABA)• This could be due to over-exposure to stress, poor diet, excessive caffeine, consumption of psychadelic drugs (e.g. cocaine)
    3. 3. Benzodiazepenes• Benzodiazepene is a sedative that can be taken to provide a calming effect• Thus having an agonistic effect by imitating the action of GABA thus inhibiting an overly active physiological response caused by exposure to phobic stimulus.• By allowing more negatively charged chloride ions to enter the postsynaptic neuron• Similar affect to alcohol

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