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Dietary modulation of cortical excitation and inhibition

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Feb 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2017
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2017
Issue number5
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)632-637
Early online date4/04/17
Original languageEnglish


The balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain affects both neural responses and behaviour in humans and animals. Here we investigated whether dietary intervention aimed at increasing levels of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA can influence neural responses to basic sensory stimuli. Using a steady-state EEG paradigm, we found that the neural response to visual patterns was reduced in individuals who consumed a yeast-extract product rich in substances associated with the production of GABA (glutamate and B vitamins), but not in a control group who consumed a placebo substance (N=14 per group). This demonstrates that the balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain can be influenced by dietary interventions, suggesting possible clinical benefits in conditions (e.g. epilepsy) where inhibition is abnormal.

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© 2017, The Author(s). This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • steady-state EEG, inhibition, GABA, diet, PRECURSORS


  • Media coverage of Dietary modulation of cortical excitation and inhibition

    Impact: Public Health

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