In 49 patients with various neurological disorders plasma and CSF gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) concentrations were determined by radioreceptor assay. The CSF GABA concentration of 127 +/- 47 pmol/ml (range: 65-275; n = 52) was independent of the age, the sex and the intake of various drugs including benzodiazepines, baclofen and antidepressants. Patients with diverse neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, ischaemic strokes, intracranial tumour and polyneuropathies had similar CSF GABA levels. The mean plasma GABA concentration was 309 +/- 79 pmol/ml (range: 179-498; n = 44). The correlation between the GABA concentrations of CSF and plasma was very poor (r = 0.18; n = 44). Therefore plasma GABA is not a suitable indicator for CSF GABA.
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