A member asked:

Since gaba is the main inhibitory transmitter in the brain, if levels rise high enough could it cause anxiolosis and eventually coma?

2 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. James Banks answered

Specializes in Headache Medicine neurology subspecialty

Not aware of any data that suggests it is possible to cause a dramatic imbalance in GABA to cause coma in live intact cns. Lethal overdoses from "gaba-ergic" medicines is extremely rare. Remember that (simplistically stated) GABA and glutamate (excitatory neurotransmitter) are in a dynamic balance the nervous system is incredibly designed!

Answered Feb 18, 2015

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Dr. Ed Friedlander answered

Specializes in Pathology

Great question. I think you are asking whether gamma-amino butyric acid can produce excitoxicity. This is a completely different function from synaptic inhibition, and it's been reported in some animal models recently especially in the immature hippocampus and conjecturally as a cause of the brain damage from repeated alcohol / sedative withdrawl. Check the scientific papers yourself.

Answered Jan 18, 2013

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