Critical review of GABA-ergic drugs in the treatment of schizophrenia

Adel A. Wassef, Sharon G. Dott, Ann Harris, Alston Brown, Michael O'Boyle, Walter J. Meyer, Robert M. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


GABA-ergic medications may have a potential role in the treatment of schizophrenia. Laboratory evidence has generally supported the ability of γ- aminobutyric acid (GABA) to reduce dopaminergic activity and has suggested that GABA may be effective in combating hypofrontality by acting on mesoprefrontocortical tracts in patients resistant to treatment with antipsychotic drugs. Although the results of clinical trials of several GABA- ergic compounds have been inconclusive because of methodologic limitations and drug toxicity, benzodiazepines and valproate seem to be associated with favorable treatment outcomes, especially when combined with typical antipsychotic agents. This study concludes that further investigation of the use of GABA in schizophrenia is likely to improve the understanding of the psychopathology of this illness and to expand our treatment alternatives. Also provided are suggestions to enhance the design of future studies, improve the potential for favorable treatment outcomes, and assist in predicting patients' responses to GABA-ergic medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-232
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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