What is the role of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) release in the pathophysiology of epileptic seizures?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

The release of GABA from the interneuron terminal inhibits the postsynaptic neuron by means of 2 mechanisms: (1) direct induction of an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP), which a GABA-A chloride current typically mediates, and (2) indirect inhibition of the release of excitatory neurotransmitter in the presynaptic afferent projection, typically with a GABA-B potassium current. Alterations or mutations in the different chloride or potassium channel subunits or in the molecules that regulate their function may affect the seizure threshold or the propensity for recurrent seizures.


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