Gaba and Depression

  • Frederick Petty
  • Gerald L. Kramer
  • William Hendrickse
Part of the The Depressive Illness Series book series (DISS, volume 3)


From a historical perspective, the amino acid neurotransmitters are recent candidates for consideration in theories of psychiatric illness. The biogenic amines, particularly norepinephrine and serotonin, have traditionally played a major role in theories regarding the biochemical basis of depression and of its treatment. This is readily explained by a general focus in neuroscience on biogenic amine neurochemistry and neuropharmacology during the formative decades of biological psychiatry. Also, it reflects the early observation that depletion of the biogenic amines with agents such as reserpine was often accompanied by the development of depressive symptoms. Similarly, the first-generation antidepressants were early reported to enhance biogenic amine activity through inhibition of monoamine oxidase or blockade of synaptic reuptake. Thus the catecholamine theory of depression was first published about 25 years ago.


Mood Disorder GABAA Receptor GABAB Receptor Sodium Valproate Gaba Level 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick Petty
    • 1
  • Gerald L. Kramer
    • 1
  • William Hendrickse
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical SchoolDallasUSA

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