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Science 298 (5597): 1350-1351

Copyright © 2002 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

GABA Becomes Exciting

Rüdiger Köhling

It has been known for decades that epileptic seizures are caused by hyperexcitability of neurons in the brain, but what causes this hyperexcitability remains unclear. In his Perspective, Köhling explores new work (Cohen et al.) showing that inhibitory interneurons, previously believed to keep excitatory pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal region in check, can sometimes switch behavior and become excitatory leading to discharges reminiscent of epileptic activity.

The author is at the Institute of Physiology, University of Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany. E-mail: kohling{at}

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W. Loscher and C. Brandt (2010)
Pharmacol. Rev. 62, 668-700
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Disease-Modifying Effects of Phenobarbital and the NKCC1 Inhibitor Bumetanide in the Pilocarpine Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.
C. Brandt, M. Nozadze, N. Heuchert, M. Rattka, and W. Loscher (2010)
J. Neurosci. 30, 8602-8612
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Oral L-glutamine increases GABA levels in striatal tissue and extracellular fluid.
L. Wang, T. J. Maher, and R. J. Wurtman (2007)
FASEB J 21, 1227-1232
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Abnormal GABAA receptors from the human epileptic hippocampal subiculum microtransplanted to Xenopus oocytes.
E. Palma, G. Spinelli, G. Torchia, A. Martinez-Torres, D. Ragozzino, R. Miledi, and F. Eusebi (2005)
PNAS 102, 2514-2518
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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