Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Dumbed Down EAA explanation

Posted by IsoM on December 14, 2001, at 14:35:24

In reply to Re: Excitatory Amino Acids, posted by Cam W. on December 13, 2001, at 18:17:40

I can't understand everything being said in the link Cam gave (I think you'd need a 4th year level to understand it all) but basically it's discussing how the different EAAs work.

Scientists can understand the different shapes a particular EAA (like L-glutamate) take in the different pathways of neural transmission by making specific analogues of each shape & seeing where & what in the pathway is blocked using in vitro & in vivo studies. By doing so, they have the opportunity to develop new medications that fit these shapes.

An EAA (excitatory amino acid) can fold & bend into different shapes. Most proteins if folded into a different shape, no longer work or work incorrectly (prions & mad cow disease). Scientists first learned about L-glutamate & then learned just how many roles it plays by altering its shape as needed. What they hope is to develop an inhibitor medication that will fit each shape needed to control steps along the pathway.

Basically, the article talks about the steps, molecules, & shapes of these EAA molecules in understanding brain processes better which will enable them to develop (chemical engineering) the needed drugs to control problems. They're also finding what genes regulate these processes & perhaps in the future repairs to these genes will normalise us better.

I hope I've got most of this correctly & haven't dumbed it down too much. Cam will correct me if I have. :)




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