Inhibition and Maturation

HARRY R. ERWIN herwin at
Fri Aug 5 07:54:00 EST 1994

A few data points:

1. GABAergic synapses can be excitatory or inhibitory depending on the 
chloride gradient. Different channels are involved.

2. Buspirone and other anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drugs bind to 
inhibitory GABAergic receptors and facilitate chloride currents.

3. Anxiety often becomes milder during adolescence as the nervous system 
(particularly the GABAergic component) matures.

4. Post-natal changes in the chloride gradient do occur, with
corresponding shifts of the GABAergic synapses from excitatory to
inhibitory. Such a shift for a significant percentage of GABAergic
synapses in the cortex would have a strongly non-linear effect on the
dynamics (and functioning) of pyramidal cells based on some preliminary
modeling I've been doing. In particular, activation networks would become
more efficient at identifying and classifying non-novel patterns, which
would reduce the perceived novelty of the world and the level of arousal
of the person. 

This summer, I've watched an individual go from severe generalized anxiety
to almost the opposite type of personality in two months. I didn't think
the nervous system could change as fast as what I've observed. It almost
looks like there has been a significant shift of GABAergic synapses from
excitatory to inhibitory, which is one of those things that can be
leveraged by a change in the chloride gradient.  Does anyone have a clue? 

Harry Erwin
Internet: herwin at 
Just a dumb engineer working on Katchalsky nets....

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