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Thread: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

  1. #1
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    Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    I'm putting this in the panic forum to keep it with the other information threads.
    All information travels down neural pathways to the brain and from the brain to muscles and organs. These pathways look like rope, but if you could look close they look like sausage links. Each link has a gap between it and the next. Situated around this gap are crossing points and the chemicals that bridge these points. The chemicals are called neurotransmitters and Serotonin is the most common. The largest number are in clusters in the brain. Each sausage feeds into one point on the next and that one might have a number of sausages feeding into it. It feeds into one point on the next. Hypothalamus directs these neurotransmitters to either carry a neuron across or not. Serotonin usually bridges the gap but can say no. Dopamine can override it because it can say yes or no. Dopamine is affected by mood. Serotonin does it's work through your whole body. Dopamine does it's work in your brain.
    Although there are far more synapses in the brain it only has five percent of your Serotonin to work with. The rest is in your body and they are separated by the blood brain barrier that it can not cross. SSRIs don't build Serotonin, they keep you from wasting it. Too much and you get cognitive impairment, way too much and you get physical impairment too as it works on the synapses in your body.

    Benzo's work by stopping information from crossing the gap and new ones are neurotransmitter specific. Some work best for things like restless leg because they can block instructions to your legs. Some opiates give you restless leg because they stimulate dopamine and dopamine can over ride Serotonin. Street drugs do the same thing. It isn't the street drug that makes you feel good but the increased dopamine production. Addiction happens because you want the feel good from dopamine that works with mood. Alcohol on the other hand is a depressant.

    So why do some people need so much more than others and why do they not stop panic in some people?

    Designer benzos work on specific triggers (like restless leg) But your doctor doesn't know which does what. So he/she guesses. Or uses Diazepam that works on everything. But Diazepam has a long half life so you need the smallest dose that works. Fine but there is still a reason why they don't sometimes work and that reason is you. Some pathways have to be open for you to function but anxiety can use these. If you use a benzo to get back to feeling positive that you were feeling before an attack they work, but if you are using them to block negative thoughts, you will have limited success. You will be overloading them. Distractions and coping skills work with them because the focus moves off the negative. So if you take a benzo to get the most out of it you want to think positive so it can do it's job without interference.

    Ativan is a dangerous drug because it blocks all the crossing points but one making a priority pathway. Hypothalamus has to use that pathway only. When Ativan wears off all the other crossing points open without Hypothalamus's direction. Massive rebound as information floods across.
    Diazepam blocks all crossing but not at all synapses so information is just slowed down as it finds detours. Don't worry, it would take very massive doses to shut down every synapse and kill you. Diazepam is usually used for withdrawal because it has a long half life and a blanket effect on the synapses allowing them to come back on line slowly and equally.

  2. #2
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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    Great post Davit. I'd like to add that 90% of the serotonin is found in the gut and there is a link between the types of gut bacteria and the amount of serotonin produced in the body. For this reason, diet is a huge component in healing and recovery.

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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    Diet is also responsible for how much Tryptophan gets to the brain to make Serotonin since Serotonin in the body can not cross the blood brain barrier

    ---------- Post added at 15:07 ---------- Previous post was at 15:05 ----------

    Low platelets are a sign of low Serotonin.

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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    bump

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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    I know Diazepam works by causing an increase in GABA from the GABAA receptors. GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. As far as I know, GABA inserts by to certain receptors to inhibit synapses. This causes it to open a door to allow chloride ions in or potassium ions out. I can't say I've got any further than that with it so far though.

    Noradrenaline is the excitory neurotransmitter when it comes to anxiety.

    Its interesting that L-Tryptophan, from the precursors 5-HTP & vitamin C have been seen to double Serotonin production in the brain. I do always find myself asking why doctors mess around with SSRI's (switching them) when they don't consider whether the person's diet is playing a role in why they are doing naff all!!!

    It is interesting that Pregabalin works with GABA too and that has some good feedback on the Meds board.

    I do find myself wondering though whether we are being given something that meerly stops it leeking as fast to find we aren't even putting enough in the tank in the first place!

    GABA, for instance, is a banned substance in the UK. Its no biggie, it got banned when all the media furore occurred over GHB being used as a date rape drug and the athletics scandals which also say DHEA get banned too. However, you can take GABA precursors and whilst it would be illegal to combine them and put them in a bottle, its not illegal to put them in your body and use that as the lab!

    This is important to me because I find myself going up & down and I wonder why this is? Could it be an adverse thing, could it even be a lack of nutrients issue, etc?

    Glutamate is the major neurotransmitter and I'm aware there are some studies of it lacking in anxiety disorders as well as other mental health issues and it can be converted into GABA. The trouble is, if you load up on L-Glutamine, which one of the 2 are you going to get? Excitory or Inhibitory? Or maybe you will simply increase both which are lacking and the brain will get rid of what it doesn't need? (but Glutamate toxicity is a real issue so I guess you have to work out just how high that is first)
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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    Is not taking Gaba if you are on an SSRI considered dangerous? If Gaba blocks and Serotonin blocks could you not end up in a coma?

    ---------- Post added at 01:25 ---------- Previous post was at 01:23 ----------

    So is vitamin C the Tryptophan carrier, I thought it might be.

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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    Thanks for this thread. Very interesting.

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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    I would have to check on the vitamin C issue but vitamin B6 tends to be needed for synthesis of certain neurotransmitters so it could be that or a carrier? Since the brain is said to hold 10-50 times the level of vitamin C found in blood plasma, which is seen as the threshold, it would suggest it would be.

    Is vitamin B6 the carrier for the others even?

    Since GABA is already being synthesised from our diet, I wouldn't have thought so otherwise wouldn't we need to be modifying our diets? But then we still need glutamate so it will convert what it needs. I suppose there could be a level you could go beyond that could be an issue but I have no idea on that one. They are making meds that work with glutamate now and they have expanded out the SSRI's & SNRI's to combine with Dopamine and eventually Glutamine so there should be some research out there somewhere.
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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    Great post... very simple to understand

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    Re: Benzodiazipenes, neurotransmitters and their actions

    Insulin strips the carrier off the other seven amino acids so I thought it might be glucose based. Needs more reading.

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