Enhancing GABA inhibition is the next generation of medications for essential tremor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the most prevalent inhibitory CNS neurotransmitter. Activating GABA-A receptors hyperpolarizes cells via Cl influx, which inhibits action potentials. Although the exact pathophysiologies of tremor are incompletely understood, proposed neuroanatomy extensively implicates GABA pathways. Pathological studies and imaging studies also show GABA abnormalities in patients with ET. Most importantly, medications that activate GABA-A receptors, such as primidone, often improve tremor. Ongoing clinical trials and physiology research should further refine potential future GABAergic targets and treatments, which are currently the most promising targets for pharmacological intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEssential Tremor
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Concepts and Controversies
EditorsSheng-Han Kuo, Elan D. Louis
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780323899741
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Publication series

NameInternational review of neurobiology
ISSN (Print)0074-7742


  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cerebellum
  • Essential tremor
  • Ethanol
  • Purkinje cells
  • γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)
  • Tremor
  • Humans
  • Essential Tremor/drug therapy
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid/metabolism
  • Receptors, GABA/metabolism
  • Receptors, GABA-A/metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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