[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 25, 1948


JAMA. 1948;138(17):1231-1232. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900170025011

Experimental studies during the past twelve years have suggested that glutamic acid may bear some unique relation to the normal functioning of the brain. In 1936, the English worker Weil-Malherbe1 demonstrated that slices of the gray matter of rat and guinea pig brain will oxidize l-glutamic acid, the naturally occurring form, but would not oxidize the d-form, or any of twelve other amino acids studied. This investigation suggested that glutamic acid played some important part in brain metabolism, perhaps in the utilization of carbohydrate for energy. More recently it has been observed2 that l-glutamic acid increases formation of acetylcholine in extracts of rat brain, and still others have found that l-glutamic acid administered to rats enhances their ability to learn a simple maze3 and a somewhat more complicated problem box.4

Studies on the possible effect of glutamic acid in human subjects with