Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

GABA increase or decrease Alzheimer's Disease?? MIXED info online

I have had anxiety and sleep disorder.  Even though my doctor prescribed medicine for me, I have been feeling funny taking the prescriptions.  Thus, I have been thinking of taking supplement like GABA, L-Theanine, and other natural herbal extracts....

There are many articles online claiming that GABA helps Alzheimer's Disease patients with improvement.  HOWEVER, there is one article by Harvard Medical School https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/benzodiazepines_and_the_alternatives indicating that GABA actually increases Alzheimer's Disease due to its slowing down brain and nerve system.

I am very confused about the mixed information online.  Would anyone shed some light here?  thanks
1 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
It sounds like the article you read was talking about benzos, which work on GABA already in the body to intensify its actions.  Both benzos and antidepressants if taken for long term use have been associated with dementia, although not necessarily Alzheimer's, and at this point it's a correlation, not conclusively proven but something to worry about if you take those medications and a good reason to try to fix the problem in a different way than just staying on medication for long periods of time, if possible.  Taking GABA won't hurt you because you won't absorb it, but it won't help you any either.  GABA supplements don't usually get past the blood/brain barrier.  Even if they did, your body is only going to utilize as much of it as it needs and evacuate the rest, which it can't do with medication as they force the body to operate artificially.  The only way to increase GABA with a supplement is probably taking the pseudo-amino acid taurine along with B6 and Vitamin C.  That's what the body uses to manufacture GABA.  To measure whether increasing GABA naturally would affect dementia would require a study in which GABA was actually increased in enough people and with enough extra GABA to study that, and it would have to be studied over a very long period of time, because it takes a long period of time to get Alzheimer's.  I seriously doubt anyone has done that, and again, since the body would evacuate excess GABA without the action of a drug preventing that breakdown it's probably not something that would happen enough to come up with a good study on it.  Add to this that we don't understand what causes Alzheimer's or what it actually looks like, only that it exists, and that makes me also wonder about it.  Theanine might help you, but it doesn't help very many people.  You might be one, though.  There are a lot of herbs that can help with sleep and anxiety, including passionflower, hops, valerian, kava (some liver problems), and a host of other herbs.  Some act on GABA, some work otherwise.  5-HTP can help the body manufacture serotonin, assuming your body decides it needs it -- again, antidepressants prevent the body from breaking down and evacuating used serotonin but natural substances don't so if your body doesn't think it needs it, it won't keep it.  A combination of natural substances, changes in lifestyle, learning relaxation techniques, and therapy are all part of a program of trying to fix an anxiety and sleep problem naturally.  If you're willing to try it and given you appear not to have a background in this, you might want to consult someone who does natural medicine for a living.  There are many different traditions given every culture has a natural medicine, so there are lots of professionals to try -- homeopaths, naturopaths, herbalists, doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic physicians, etc.  Some allopathic physicians practice integrated medicine.  Bottom line, taking GABA in supplement form probably won't work so it probably won't hurt, but if it does work for you, it probably won't produce GABA in the way medication does and therefore it's most likely impossible to say it has a profound enough effect to cause Alzheimer's, and if it does work, you will hopefully be working to solve the problem and be able to stop taking it, as it's only long-term use that would theoretically be a problem.  Life is hard.  Peace.
Helpful - 0
1 Comments
Paxiled, thank you so very much about shedding light on this topic.  I so appreciate everything you touched.  It helps me a great deal.  Thank you. thank you
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Neurology Community

Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452915648
Allentown, PA
5265383 tn?1483808356
ON
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease