[Skip to Navigation]
November 1977

Cerebrospinal Fluid γ-Aminobutyric Acid Variations in Neurological Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pharmacology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy (Dr Enna), University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, and the Departments of Neurology (Dr Stern) and Pharmacology (Drs Wastek and Yamamura), University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Ariz.

Arch Neurol. 1977;34(11):683-685. doi:10.1001/archneur.1977.00500230053008

• Neuropathologically, Huntington's disease is characterized by a profound reduction in neuronal cells originating in the corpus striatum and globus pallidus. Since one of these cell types utilizes γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as a neurotransmitter, it may be possible to differentially diagnose this disorder on the basis of the CSF content of this amino acid. In order to determine the validity of this hypothesis, cerebrospinal fluid GABA was analyzed, using a recently developed radioreceptor assay procedure and was found to be significantly reduced in patients diagnosed as having Huntington's disease and also lower in patients with Alzheimer's disease, though no difference was noted between Parkinson patients and control subjects. The results suggest that analysis of cerebrospinal fluid GABA may have diagnostic, and perhaps predictive, value in certain neurological disorders.

Add or change institution