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Bipolar disorder and the effects of GABA

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Bipolar disorder and the effects of GABA

Postby vileynye » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:57 am

Hello, I just have a quick question. I work at a dietary supplement manufacturing company as a machine operator. I am also dignosed Bipolar type 1. During a typical day of work I ingest copious ammounts of product through my respitory system. I frequently research the products im pressing on a daily basis because I know some supplements have adverse effects on me due to my Bipolar. Not only does it educate me but it also lets me know the type of protection i need to wear on that day. Such as a filter mask or goggles. Today im pressing GABA. Its a small white pill designed to be desolved in the mouth. I was reading online about the benifits GABA supplements can have but I also read that it is advised Bipolar individuals should avoid GABA supplements. Not a huge suprise once you read how GABA works with in the brain. However im not entirely sure what negative effects GABA actually causes. Would some one mind confirming GABA supplements are indeed bad for Bipolar people and then please explain the effects on my Bipolar brain. Id like to know exactly what it does. Thank you for your time.
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Re: Bipolar disorder and the effects of GABA

Postby CrackedGirl » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:19 pm

Hi and welcome

I think that this question is one that will need to be directed to a professional as it is pretty technical. I am not here in a professional capacity but knowing what I do about GABA receptors I know they are activated by things like alcohol and benzos so I guess (and I stress guess) it is possible that taking GABA supplements could have an effect on mood. However I think it would be sensible to ask an expert. Does your work know about the BP? Not everyone but those who need to know as it might be that you need to avoid working with certain materials but again this is something that a professional would have to advise you on - such as an occupational health physician.

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Re: Bipolar disorder and the effects of GABA

Postby Aden D. » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:40 am

Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) acts as a primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. To put it another way, GABA is the transmitter that modulates the other transmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.) to prevent them from over activity. Most benzodiazepine anti-anxiety drugs perform their therapeutic role by modulating GABA receptors to produce a calming effect. In a similar fashion, most mood stabilizing medications (generally the mainstay in bipolar psychopharmalogical treatment) also affect GABA by preventing neurons from over-firing.
Glutamate, the chemical precursor to GABA is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter. It is hypothesized that misfiring of glutamate receptors in the brain (and therefore causing erratic fluctuations in GABA, and by association, the other neurotransmitters that it inhibits) is the cause of manic and mixed episodes, while the invariable reuptake of serotonin and dopamine leads to the depressive episodes of bipolar disorder (which could also explain why depressive episodes almost always follow manic episodes).
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