Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Marla SanzoneEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1661


Glutamic acid; l; Monosodium glutamate (MSG)


Glutamate is the carboxylate anion and salt of glutamic acid (abbreviated as Glu or E), a nonessential amino acid with GAA and GAG. Peter Usherwood identified the chemical as a neurotransmitter in 1994, but Kikunae Ikeda of Tokay Imperial University discovered glutamate in 1907 while looking for the flavor common to particular foods. He later invented monosodium glutamate (Boeree 2003). It is one of the 20 proteinogenic amino acids, synthesized by protein hydrolysis, and is stored in synaptic vesicles. It is the only amino acid metabolized by the brain and the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the human nervous system, particularly in the cerebellum and spinal cord (Glutamate 2008, 2009c; Metabolomics Toolbox 2009).

Presynaptic chemical impulses trigger glutamate release. It binds to and activates postsynaptic effector neurons such as NMDA receptors. When in the synapse, glutamate is either reabsorbed by an...

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References and Readings

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent Practice, Loyola College of MarylandAnnapolisUSA