The ZRT Laboratory Blog

The ZRT Blog is an extensive resource for patients and health care providers searching for health and hormone testing information. Here, you can read about ZRT’s cutting edge research, advances in testing, wellness advice, and health industry highlights.

The Connection Between GABA & Sleep Disturbances

Posted by Dr. Allison Smith on Wednesday, 20 June

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Gamma-aminobutyric acid, better known as GABA, is the neurotransmitter known for its affinity for GABA receptors throughout the central nervous system (CNS). It acts to inhibit excitatory processes – whether they be normal or pathological.

It's synthesized from the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in a process that requires vitamin B6 as a cofactor. The delicate balance in the brain between GABA and glutamate is orchestrated by shuttle systems from the Krebs Cycle, the presence of NMDA and GABA receptor modulators, enzyme cofactors, and reuptake mediators.  

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 3

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 01 June

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This is part three of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part one can be found here. Part two can be found here.

Monoamines and the HPA Axis

The hypothalamus is directly innervated by neuronal systems that produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (5-HT), dopamine and norepinephrine (NE), that are involved in mood regulation and play various other roles in cognitive health. During the acute stress crisis, the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system is stimulated to help maintain morale. However, during chronic stress or depression, the reward system is down-regulated by stress mediators, resulting in anhedonia.

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Heavy Metals, Nutrients & Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Kate Placzek on Wednesday, 23 May

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Influenced by our environment, we are constantly being exposed to elements, whether nutritional or toxic. They are a big contribution to the yin yang dualism of health and disease. 

With heavy metals, contamination is so extensive nowadays that it is no longer a question of whether exposure took place, but rather what the level of exposure was or continues to be.

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Neurotransmitters, Mood & the Perception of Stress - Part 2

Posted by Dr. Thomas Guilliams on Friday, 18 May

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This is part two of Dr. Guilliams's Neurotransmitters & Mood series. Part one can be found here. Part three can be found here.

Glutamate, GABA & Neurosteroid Activation

Glutamate (L-glutamic acid) and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are, respectively, the principal excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the CNS and play a significant role in HPA axis function and mood [1]. These two amino acid-based neurotransmitters account for over 50% of the synapses in the brain, while the monoamines (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine) account for only about 5% [2].

Glutamate is required for synaptic transmission and plasticity, and learning and memory. However, abnormal function of the glutamatergic system can lead to neurotoxicity, and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorders [3].

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