gamma-Hydroxybutyrate - a neurotransmitter, medicine, and drug
by
Trendelenburg G, Strohle A.
Neurologische Klinik und Poliklinik,
Charite Campus Mitte,
Charite Universitatsmedizin Berlin.
Nervenarzt. 2004 Dec 4


ABSTRACT

Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is a short fatty acid and physiologic neurotransmitter. Initially, it was synthesized as a GABA agonist and used as a narcotic agent, because it rapidly induces sleep without major cardiovascular or respiratory side effects. Recently, a specific GHB receptor was identified, but while the clinical use of GHB as an anaesthetic was reduced due to putative proconvulsive effects, it now is used to treat alcohol withdrawal and sleep disorders. Furthermore, GHB was postulated to be a regulator of energy metabolism, and tissue-protective effects were demonstrated in different animal models. Besides its clinical use, GHB (also called "liquid ecstasy") is increasingly consumed in the disco scene because of its mild sedative and euphoric effects. Intoxication from GHB is common with GHB users. For this reason and because GHB is not easy to detect, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of GHB intoxication. Moreover, some recent case reports document the danger of GHB dependence.
GHB
GABA
MDMA
Opioids
Reward
Alcohol
Dopamine
21st century
GHB and GABA
GHB withdrawal
GHB and cocaine
Drugs and reward
GHB and alcoholism
GHB and narcolepsy
Rodent polydrug abusers
GHB and growth hormone
GHB (Xyrem) and narcolepsy
Drink, drugs and sex in antiquity
GHB: use, abuse and withdrawal
GHB as a signalling molecule in brain
GHB (Xyrem): tolerance and withdrawal


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