Glutamate & GABA for psychiatrists

Rapid Dissemination of Information Glutamate and GABA are the archetypal ‘fast’ transmitters. If a neuron in the brain ‘wishes’ to communicate rapidly with another cell, the chances are that it will utilise glutamate or GABA. Of course, glutamate neurons exert … Continue reading

Psychiatric illness ‘explained’: Disorders of CNS Connectivity

The power of the nervous system: The astonishing power of the nervous system does not reside in a single neuron. (That said, an advanced supercomputer is required for the task of modelling the processing power of even a single neuron). … Continue reading

Why NMDA drugs keep failing in schizophrenia.

Twenty years ago it all looked so promising. The model was as follows: Learning and memory were clearly being driven by activity at the glutamate NMDA receptor. Boost the NMDA receptor by pharmacological means, and perhaps intellectual performance could be … Continue reading

Neurophysiology can free psychiatry from it’s dependence on metaphor.

For psychiatry to progress, it can take as it's starting point the most up to date thinking on how the nervous system operates. This necessitates an appreciation of how neurons communicate with each other, how circuits emerge and how CNS … Continue reading

NMDA receptor encephalitis: An acute organic psychosis.

Mental health clinicians should be mindful that numerous physical illnesses can present with psychiatric symptoms. A case in point is a recently described autoimmune disorder in which antibodies target glutamate NMDA receptors within the brain. Acute psychosis and cognitive dysfunction … Continue reading