Balance between excitatory glutamate and inhibitory GABA neurotransmitter is essential
and critical for proper development and functioning of brain. GABAergic (gamma aminobutyric acid)
and glutamatergic interneurons maintain excitability, integrity and synaptic plasticity. Several evidences
implicated relative loss of inhibitory GABA with corresponding glutamate mediated hyperexcitation
in the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD). ASD is the common neurological disorder with an estimated relative occurrence of 0.5-1% of universal
population. Several studies have demonstrated the imbalance of excitatory/inhibitory neurotransmitters resulting from
neurodevelopmental impairments in glutamatergic and GABAergic system, which might resemble common pathological
mechanism for developmental disorders. This review focuses on the necessity for developing GABA enhancing and glutamate
suppressing drug candidates, and illustrates the role of GABAergic and glutamatergic system in cognition and
memory impairment involved in neurodevelopmental disorders, with emphasis on ASD and ADHD. The review also
highlights the emerging drugs for neurodevelopmental disorders.
Keywords: AMPA/kainite/NMDA antagonist, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, GABA,
GABA agonist, glutamate.
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