Dr. Joseph McQuail & colleagues publish in June 9, 2015 Trends in Molecular Medicine

Molecular aspects of age-related cognitive decline: the role of GABA signaling. McQuail JA, Frazier CJ, Bizon JL. Trends Mol Med 2015.

Alterations in inhibitory interneurons contribute to cognitive deficits associated with several psychiatric and neurological diseases. Phasic and tonic inhibition imparted by γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors regulates neural activity and helps to establish the appropriate network dynamics in cortical circuits that support normal cognition. This review highlights basic science demonstrating that inhibitory signaling is altered in aging, and discusses the impact of age-related shifts in inhibition on different forms of memory function, including hippocampus-dependent spatial reference memory and prefrontal cortex (PFC)-dependent working memory. The clinical appropriateness and tractability of select therapeutic candidates for cognitive aging that target receptors mediating inhibition are also discussed.

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:  GABA(A) α5; GABA(B) receptor; hippocampus; memory; prefrontal cortex; tonic inhibition