GABA Identified as Key Chemical in Brain Capable of Stopping Unwanted Thoughts


Published Date : Nov 06, 2017

gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) has been discovered by scientists as a key brain chemical that could help to stop negative or unwanted thoughts, especially those with neurological disorders. This could also help to explain the reason for persistent unwanted thoughts experienced by schizophrenia, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression patients. Authored by the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit’s Professor Michael Anderson and Dr. Taylor Schmitz, the study was published in the Nature Communications journal. As per the study, people with highest concentration of GABA in their brain’s memory or hippocampus could overpower unwanted memories or thoughts.

Enhancement of GABA in Hippocampus of Brain could Suppress Unwanted Thoughts

Anderson has said that scientists have now become very specific with their findings. Earlier, they only had been able to tell – this part of the brain acts on that part. However, they could now identify significant neurotransmitters and eventually, induce the role of inhibitory neurons having the ability to stop unwanted thoughts.

Schizophrenia in people with hyperactive hippocampi could also be closely studied with the help of the findings. Post-mortem studies have unveiled that the inhibitory neurons that use GABA are compromised in schizophrenia. They could find it challenging to regulate activity in this structure through the prefrontal cortex, causing the hippocampus to fail to stop unwanted memories and thoughts that could turn into hallucinations.

The discovery has been expected to help find new techniques to treat related disorders and new approaches to stop or fight intrusive thoughts. Thus, if one could enhance GABA activity, they could help stop unwanted or invasive thoughts, according to Anderson.