Evidence for GABAergic inhibitory deficits in major depressive disorder

Paul E. Croarkin, Andrea J. Levinson, Zafiris J. Daskalakis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Converging evidence suggests that deficits in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) functioning are implicated in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD). This is highlighted by research investigating cortical inhibition (CI), a process whereby GABAergic interneurons selectively attenuate pyramidal neurons. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) paradigms evaluate this marker of neuronal inhibitory activity in the cortex. This review will examine the neuroanatomic and neurophysiological evidence from neuroimaging, molecular, treatment, and TMS studies linking dysfunctional GABAergic neurotransmission to MDD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-825
Number of pages8
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Cortical inhibition
  • GABA
  • Interneuron
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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