Ketosis and Brain Handling of Glutamate, Glutamine, and GABA

Epilepsia. 2008 Nov;49 Suppl 8(Suppl 8):73-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2008.01841.x.

Abstract

We hypothesize that one mechanism of the anti-epileptic effect of the ketogenic diet is to alter brain handling of glutamate. According to this formulation, in ketotic brain astrocyte metabolism is more active, resulting in enhanced conversion of glutamate to glutamine. This allows for: (a) more efficient removal of glutamate, the most important excitatory neurotransmitter; and (b) more efficient conversion of glutamine to GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Diet, Ketogenic
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism*
  • Glutamine / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ketosis / metabolism*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*

Substances

  • Glutamine
  • Glutamic Acid
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid