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Free Content GABAA Receptors, Anesthetics and Anticonvulsants in Brain Development

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Abstract:

GABA, acting via GABAA receptors, is well-accepted as the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the mature brain, where it dampens neuronal excitability. The receptor's properties have been studied extensively, yielding important information about its structure, pharmacology, and regulation that are summarized in this review. Several GABAergic drugs have been commonly used as anesthetics, sedatives, and anticonvulsants for decades. However, findings that GABA has critical functions in brain development, in particular during the late embryonic and neonatal period, raise worthwhile questions regarding the side effects of GABAergic drugs that may lead to long-term cognitive deficits. Here, we will review some of these drugs in parallel with the control of CNS development that GABA exerts via activation of GABAA receptors. This review aims to provide a basic science and clinical perspective on the function of GABA and related pharmaceuticals acting at GABAA receptors.





Keywords: GABA; anesthesia; apoptosis; epilepsy; glutamate; neurogenesis; proliferation; synaptic

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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  • CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics and biochemistry of contemporary molecular targets involved in neurological and central nervous system (CNS) disorders e.g. disease specific proteins, receptors, enzymes, genes. Each issue of the journal will contain a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on drug targets involved in neurological and CNS disorders. As the discovery, identification, characterization and validation of novel human drug targets for neurological and CNS drug discovery continues to grow; this journal will be essential reading for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug discovery and development.
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