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Alteration of glutamate/GABA balance during acute alcohol withdrawal in the emergency department: a prospective analysis.

Animal studies suggest that alcohol withdrawal alters the balance of the neurotransmitters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate. To test this in humans, we aimed to measure plasma concentrations of glutamate, GABA, and the glutamate/GABA ratio in alcoholic patients with complicated alcohol withdrawal syndrome with the same values in non-alcohol dependent/non-alcohol dependent controls and to determine prognostic factors for severe withdrawal.

88 Patients admitted to the emergency department for acute alcohol intoxication (DSM-IV) were therefore specifically studied. Measurements of GABA and glutamate were performed on admission (Time 1, T1) and after 12 ± 2 h (T2). The concentration of GABA in the experimental group was significantly lower in T1 than in the CG.

CONCLUSION: Decreased synthesis of GABA and increased synthesis of glutamate could be related to withdrawal symptoms during brachial cessation of chronic alcohol consumption.

Alteration of glutamate/GABA Balance During Acute Alcohol Withdrawal in Emergency Department: A Prospective Analysis.

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