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L-theanine?


ramblingon
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Hi fella's.

I just came across an article about theanine, and was wondering if anybody had looked into it or tried it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theanine

I guess it increases dopamine to the brain, which seems like it would be good (for me, anyway) and possibly decreases serotonin, at least that's been suggested. But I don't really know enough about this stuff, and was hoping some of the more knowledgeable people here would have some ideas about it?

Pardon any dumb questions but....

" its primary effect seems to increase the overall level of the brain inhibitory transmitter GABA"

Could someone explain what GABA is in lamens terms?

I was thinking of getting this as a supplement and trying it.

EDIT: BTW, I was posting as ramblingon, just changed my name if anyone cares/was curious. I think Lt. Broccoli is a rather fitting star trek reference for me ;)

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The two major fast transmitters in the brain are Glutamate and GABA, comprising about 40% (each) of all neurotransmitters in the body. Glutamate is excitatory (increases neuron firing rates) and GABA is inhibitory (decreases neuronal firing)

Neurons are 'integrators' (which is a word for 'adding machine'). This sum is literally the ion charge inside the neuron. At resting state it is about -70 millivolts. When 'excited', a positive ion is carried inside the neuron. When 'inhibited', a negative ion is carried into the neuron. When the total charge of ions reach a threshold (about +37 mv), then the ions discharge at the Axon hillock and the electrical charge travels down the Axon to the Axon terminals which have synaptic connections to other neurons - each which end up transporting (via neurotransmitters) ion charges to the Dendrites of other neurons. The neuron is then back at 'resting' state (-70 mv)

So Glutamate increases firing rate (+ ions)

GABA decreases firing rate (- ions). This is why GABA is calming. Benzodiazepines and various anti-seizure meds slow firing rates either through GABA or other mechanism involved in charge transfer between neurons. Many symptoms of HPPD involves over activity of neurons. So stuff like Klonopin helps anxiety and, for some, visuals.

L-theanine is an obvious plus for HPPD, though probably very weak - but what the heck, its worth trying. Green Tea is a source of L-theanine and of good anti-oxidants (however, some might be sensitive to caffine).

As far as other neurotransmitters - dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, histamine, ... - these are often referred to as neuromodulators. They work on neurons exactly the same way as described above. However they usually 'regulate' the activity of Glutamate and GABA - they are 'slow' in comparison. Also, some are grouped in very specific systems (called ‘nucleus’ in Neuro-Science).

L-theanine action of increasing dopamine is a plus since dopamine is implicated in many HPPD symptoms. Also curious how there are reports that it helps schizophrenia since this is usually treated by reducing dopamine.

There are no stupid questions. The more you learn about how the brain works, the better you are in dealing/treating the problems (though admittedly brain structure is a very complex topic)

Hope this helps…

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The two major fast transmitters in the brain are Glutamate and GABA, comprising about 40% (each) of all neurotransmitters in the body. Glutamate is excitatory (increases neuron firing rates) and GABA is inhibitory (decreases neuronal firing)

Neurons are 'integrators' (which is a word for 'adding machine'). This sum is literally the ion charge inside the neuron. At resting state it is about -70 millivolts. When 'excited', a positive ion is carried inside the neuron. When 'inhibited', a negative ion is carried into the neuron. When the total charge of ions reach a threshold (about +37 mv), then the ions discharge at the Axon hillock and the electrical charge travels down the Axon to the Axon terminals which have synaptic connections to other neurons - each which end up transporting (via neurotransmitters) ion charges to the Dendrites of other neurons. The neuron is then back at 'resting' state (-70 mv)

So Glutamate increases firing rate (+ ions)

GABA decreases firing rate (- ions). This is why GABA is calming. Benzodiazepines and various anti-seizure meds slow firing rates either through GABA or other mechanism involved in charge transfer between neurons. Many symptoms of HPPD involves over activity of neurons. So stuff like Klonopin helps anxiety and, for some, visuals.

L-theanine is an obvious plus for HPPD, though probably very weak - but what the heck, its worth trying. Green Tea is a source of L-theanine and of good anti-oxidants (however, some might be sensitive to caffine).

As far as other neurotransmitters - dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, histamine, ... - these are often referred to as neuromodulators. They work on neurons exactly the same way as described above. However they usually 'regulate' the activity of Glutamate and GABA - they are 'slow' in comparison. Also, some are grouped in very specific systems (called ‘nucleus’ in Neuro-Science).

L-theanine action of increasing dopamine is a plus since dopamine is implicated in many HPPD symptoms. Also curious how there are reports that it helps schizophrenia since this is usually treated by reducing dopamine.

There are no stupid questions. The more you learn about how the brain works, the better you are in dealing/treating the problems (though admittedly brain structure is a very complex topic)

Hope this helps…

Thanks a lot Visual. Very helpful and I appreciate the response. I will say my interest in the brain/neurology has increased ten fold since the onset of HPPD, and the more I learn the better. I've got plenty of reading to do now. :ph34r:

Thank you once again, your post throughout this whole board have been most informative to me!

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L-theanine is awesome and very healthy for immune system

i take it once every 2 days and before a night of drinking. For me it noticeably calms me down at the 250 mg range, definitly worth getting for those above average anxiety days.

And visual as for GABA being inhibitory that does not really explain why it is calming, Gaba just as much inhibits neurons that inhibit excitation (thus causing excitation) as it inhibits excitation.

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In simplest terms, if you want to burn up a brain, inject it with glutamate - this happens as a consequence of stroke and greatly broadens damage. If you want to save a brain from burn out, the major tool is benzodiazepines. You can check these two out with emergency room medical practices.

Now are there complex loops that, by inhibiting one part excites another? Yes the brain is so full of feedback and feedforward loops it is almost impossible to understand how anything works. And really weird stuff goes on during neonatal stages.

Nevertheless, the simple model described above can be verified by basic Neuroscience books.

Start here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuron

"In fact, however, the two most common neurotransmitters in the brain, glutamate and GABA, have actions that are largely consistent. Glutamate acts on several different types of receptors, but most of them have effects that are excitatory. Similarly GABA acts on several different types of receptors, but all of them have effects (in adult animals, at least) that are inhibitory. Because of this consistency, it is common for neuroscientists to simplify the terminology by referring to cells that release glutamate as "excitatory neurons," and cells that release GABA as "inhibitory neurons." Since over 90% of the neurons in the brain release either glutamate or GABA, these labels encompass the great majority of neurons."

Reducing the rate of axonal firing, or stopping the signals from reaching the next neurons, is how sedatives, analgesics and anesthesia work – thus ‘calming’ (death being the ultimate state of calm – zero neuronal firing). And there are many mechanisms, GABA being only one of them.

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