Towards a Better Understanding of GABAergic Remodeling in Alzheimer's Disease

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Aug 21;18(8):1813. doi: 10.3390/ijms18081813.


γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate brain. In the past, there has been a major research drive focused on the dysfunction of the glutamatergic and cholinergic neurotransmitter systems in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, there is now growing evidence in support of a GABAergic contribution to the pathogenesis of this neurodegenerative disease. Previous studies paint a complex, convoluted and often inconsistent picture of AD-associated GABAergic remodeling. Given the importance of the GABAergic system in neuronal function and homeostasis, in the maintenance of the excitatory/inhibitory balance, and in the processes of learning and memory, such changes in GABAergic function could be an important factor in both early and later stages of AD pathogenesis. Given the limited scope of currently available therapies in modifying the course of the disease, a better understanding of GABAergic remodeling in AD could open up innovative and novel therapeutic opportunities.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; E/I balance; GABA; GABA receptor; GABA transporter; GAD; GAT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • GABAergic Neurons / metabolism*
  • GABAergic Neurons / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid