Gabbing about GABA - implications for hypersomnia treatments
Anesthesiologist and NS faculty member, Paul Garcia and his colleagues presented two posters at the Society of Neuroscience Conference, October 17-21, 2015. The findings may raise concerns about two non-stimulant drugs Emory sleep specialists have studied for the treatment of hypersomnia: flumazenil and clarithromycin.
For both, the data is in vitro only, so caution is in order and more investigation may be needed.
With flumazenil, Garcia and colleagues found that when neurons are exposed to a low dose for 24 hours, the cells increase expression of some GABA receptor forms.
The other GABA-counteracting drug studied for the treatment of hypersomnia is clarithromycin, which has an independent life as an antibiotic. In this case, researchers found that exposing cells to clarithromycin increases their excitability, which suggests that it may elevate susceptibility to seizure in certain patients, Garcia says.