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Yo Depression- Yo GABA-NAMS (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid)

1550_MentalHealthHumor  Yo Gabba gabba GABA Gamma-Amino Butyric AcidThis is part 6 of a blog series. Each past post is one part of this whole, complete Mental Health Humor Cartoon.

|Depression 1Depression 2Depression 3Depression 4Depression 5Depression 6|

1556_MentalHealthHumor  Yo Gabba gabba DJ Lance Rock medication bottle depression“Yo GaBBa Gabba” jumped in my head when I was reading fellow Psych Central’s Dr. Rick Nauert PhD blog post  “Animal Studies Show Promise for New Class of Antidepressants.”  In the post, he refers to research by Scott Thompson, PhD who is the Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM). The research has identified some promising compounds that could successfully treat depression in less than 24 hours – this was published this month in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

“Our results open up a whole new class of potential antidepressant medications,” said  Thompson. “We have evidence that these compounds can relieve the devastating symptoms of depression in less than one day, and can do so in a way that limits some of the key disadvantages of current approaches.”

When Rick Nauert posted on July 14th and quoted below, I was happy to read about the “potential” of a fast acting depression compound – but having 4 kids, I could not get my mind off the Yo Gabba gabba connection.. with the GABA-NAMs.

The researchers focused on another neurotransmitter besides serotonin, an inhibitory compound called GABA. Brain activity is determined by a balance of opposing excitatory and inhibitory communication between brain cells. Thompson and his team argue that in depression, excitatory messages in some brain regions are not strong enough. 

Because there is no safe way to directly strengthen excitatory communication, they examined a class of compounds that reduce the inhibitory messages sent via GABA. They predicted that these compounds would restore excitatory strength.

These compounds, called GABA-NAMs, minimize unwanted side effects because they are precise: They work only in the parts of the brain that are essential for mood.

This is good news to people like me and many others that regular SSRIs may be having less and less effectiveness on their depression.  Still, I’m sure this is many years away for human trial.  A Golden pill for depression and to work within 24 hours with minimal side-effect. Yo, GABA NAMs may be the pipe dream, we living with depression, have all been dreaming about.  Then again, watching Yo Gabba Gabba just might be more effective in lifting our mood.

Who is to say:  If the FDA fast tracks GABA-NAMs in some type of new medication, would you take it?  Right now Rats are showing goods signs, but the jump from a depressed rat to a depressed human…

“These compounds produced the most dramatic effects in animal studies that we could have hoped for,” Dr. Thompson said. “It will now be tremendously exciting to find out whether they produce similar effects in depressed patients. If these compounds can quickly provide relief of the symptoms of human depression, such as suicidal thinking, it could revolutionize the way patients are treated.”

Needless to say, we will all be looking forward to more updates from Dr. Rick Nauert PhD in the future.  Thanks for keeping us so up- to-date on the important issues.  And for always inspiring some great cartoon ideas. 🙂

Neuropsychopharmacology (22 April 2015) | doi:10.1038/npp.2015.112

We hypothesized that negative allosteric modulators of GABAA receptors would exert similar effects on brain activity as ketamine, but would not exert as many side effects if targeted only to GABAA receptors containing α5 subunits, which are enriched in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Here, we show that the α5-selective negative modulator L-655,708 reversed the alterations in hedonic behavior in the sucrose preference and social interaction tests produced by two different chronic stress paradigms in rats within 24h of systemic administration.

I also want to give a quick shout out to fellow Psych Central Blogger LaRae LaBouff. When I read her blog today, I could see she and I were thinking the same thing when I read the sentence/term “GABA”. In her post,  Bipolar with Migraines May Be New Subtype she says “First, let’s talk about GABA. It doesn’t have anything to do with the kids’ t.v. show. GABA, in the most basic definition, is your body’s chill factor.”  It is a good read–check it out. 🙂


♥ The Mental Health Humor cartoon is draw by Chato B Stewart. This is my rendition of the Yo Gabba Gabba Group coming together to do a PSA for Depression. It was not my intent to negatively depict Christian Jacobs, Scott Schultz in any other way but depressed in connection with the new compound “Gaba-Nams”.  The word association gave way to me drawing the characters dealing with depression and DJ Lance Rock ready to help.  While this is a stretch from their normal image, spoofing the gang is for a positive cause: promotion of mental health awareness. 

Chato Stewart

♥♥♥ Trademarks relating to Yo Gabba Gabba! and its characters are held by GabbaCaDabra, LLC.

Yo Gabba Gabba! logo.svg
Yo Gabba Gabba! logo” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Yo Depression- Yo GABA-NAMS (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid)

Chato Stewart

Chato Stewart has a mission, to draw and use humor as a positive tool to live, to cope with the debilitating effects symptoms of mental illness. Chato Stewart is a Mental Health Hero and Advocate. Recovery Peer Specialist board-certified in Florida. Chato is the artist behind the cartoons series Mental Health Humor, Over-Medicated, and The Family Stew - seen here in his blog posts. The cartoons are drawn from his personal experience of living with bipolar disorder (and other labels). [email protected]

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APA Reference
Stewart, C. (2016). Yo Depression- Yo GABA-NAMS (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid). Psych Central. Retrieved on July 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Apr 2016
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