2-Minute Neuroscience: GABA

By Brian Lemay 24 comments

Welcome to 2 minute neuroscience, where I
explain neuroscience topics in 2 minutes or less. In this installment I will discuss gamma-aminobutyric
acid, or GABA. Although GABA’s primary functions are as
a neurotransmitter, it has the structure of an amino acid and thus is referred to as an
amino acid neurotransmitter. It is synthesized from another amino acid
neurotransmitter, glutamate, in a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase. The function of GABA changes over the course
of neural development, but in the mature brain it acts primarily as an inhibitory neurotransmitter;
in other words when GABA interacts with the receptors of a neuron, it generally makes
the neuron less likely to fire an action potential or release neurotransmitters. There are two types of receptors GABA interacts
with, GABAa and GABAb receptors. GABAa receptors are ionotropic receptors. When GABA binds to the GABAa receptor, it
causes the opening of an associated ion channel that is permeable to the negatively charged
ion chloride. When negative chloride ions flow into the
neuron, they hyperpolarize the membrane potential of the neuron and make it less likely the
neuron will fire an action potential. GABAb receptors are metabotropic (or g-protein
coupled) receptors; when activated they frequently cause the opening of potassium channels. These channels allow positively charged potassium
ions to flow out of the neuron, again making the neuron hyperpolarized and less likely
to fire an action potential. The actions of GABA are terminated by proteins
called GABA transporters, which transport GABA from the synaptic cleft into neurons
or glial cells where it is degraded primarily by mitochondrial enzymes. Because GABA can reduce neural transmission,
increased GABA activity can have sedative effects. Accordingly, a number of drugs that have such
effects, like alcohol and benzodiazepines, increase activity at the GABA receptor.



Feb 2, 2018, 10:20 am Reply


Moshe Meyers

Feb 2, 2018, 10:44 am Reply

I feel it would of been important to mentiuon GABA-b1 and b2 receptor and how both are needed in activation

Jack Brzuch

Feb 2, 2018, 6:09 pm Reply

do you ever planned to make longer videos? It would be cool to know more than basics of this topics (especially neuropsychopharmacology), there is not many stuff on youtube that would explain that, definitely not like you do, specifically, conveniently

and please open a patreon, youtube rewards some shit instead of quality content, all this time you are doing it non-profit


Feb 2, 2018, 10:51 pm Reply

In two minutes, you explained it much better than a Stanford professor.

Carla Daher

Feb 2, 2018, 11:55 pm Reply

perfect timing <3 your a saver!


Feb 2, 2018, 2:27 am Reply

Luv u


May 5, 2018, 5:25 pm Reply

💗 allopregnanolone 💗 non-psychoactive calmness

i r i e.l i o n

May 5, 2018, 7:43 am Reply



Jun 6, 2018, 2:17 am Reply

Thank you for your simple and perfect explanation.

raga vendran

Jul 7, 2018, 2:25 am Reply

Simply better for understanding keep making more

Ryad Arlan

Oct 10, 2018, 4:37 am Reply

The entire internet wants to dose you up with GABA but no information to remove it. Who writes the internet?

starvin marvin

Oct 10, 2018, 12:14 pm Reply

Dont mess with gaba receptors. Stay far away from benzos, they can turn your life upside down.

Bey Zee

Oct 10, 2018, 5:22 pm Reply

You are the father I'd never had, the brother everybody would want. You are the friend that everybody deserves. I don't know a better person. I DON'T know a better person (inserts Oprah's voice)


Nov 11, 2018, 4:47 pm Reply

Can you make a video on Modafinil and how it works with Gaba and glutamate ?

Luke Petronella

Nov 11, 2018, 10:54 pm Reply

I'm taking Gaba supplements for extremely severe anxiety. I really did not want to take ssri's because I think they are scary as shit. So far its been a day and a half and I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I am only concerned because I find that I feel depersonalized. Hopefully once the anxiety subsides I can get off of these things and feel normal again.

PbI6a Me4

Dec 12, 2018, 1:05 am Reply

заебись спасибо ! нихуя не понятно только


Jan 1, 2019, 6:45 am Reply

Thank you

lost in thoughts

Jan 1, 2019, 2:49 pm Reply

Why don't cancel college so we stay at home and use these videos, we can go to college just for exams, cause they are teaching us complete crap.


May 5, 2019, 9:02 am Reply

Nice explanation. Could you enunciate some of the words clearer and slower for viewers not in the USA thank you


Jun 6, 2019, 3:38 pm Reply


Denise Craft

Aug 8, 2019, 2:33 pm Reply

Hmm….Why is this not being used to treat fibromyalgia? Seems it might possibly be an effective treatment.


Sep 9, 2019, 12:42 am Reply

Me:Me drinks alcohol or takes a benzos

Aw yeah im relaxed and singing music i love this but I can't do it to often or i'll have a seizure when i quit and die

Me: activating GABAb aw yeah Im relaxed and singing and im stimulated and horny… oh shit im in the icu because I overdosed. DONT JERK OFF TOO THE HOT NURSE DON'T JERK OFF TO THE HOT NURSE.

Gary Hawkins

Oct 10, 2019, 8:14 am Reply

It eats (my words, or otherwise disrupts) GABA, the microscopic brain protozoa, cat-poop parasite, road rage parasite, toxoplasma gondii. So that's surely why you're all f'd up (reading these comments), I know because I was too. I'm looking for a way to knock it out behind the blood-brain barrier. In the meantime, with the patch of just restoring GABA I can be back to my normal real self again. The curious thing is that it also restores empathy for others, pretty dramatically for me, I guess because once there's no longer a chemical three-alarm fire in the brain from toxo (lack of GABA), one's true nature can be present there again.
Simply put: This explains trolls and if in our water supply would produce world peace.

But we might lose our edge a little. I'm guessing you're all pretty creative, it's that internal anxiety that makes us strive like mad to create something good.


Oct 10, 2019, 5:50 am Reply

Are GABA supplements good for porn induced erectial dysfunction since watching porn weakens the neurotransmitters

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