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Glutamate, in neuroscience is used to describe the anion of glutaminc acid in its functions as neurotransmitter that has the ability to send signals in the brain and throughout the nerves in the body. It is synthesised from glutamine using glutaminase enzyme as part of the glutamate-glutamine cycle within the central nervous system. This process usually occurs in the presynaptic neuron or even in the neighboring glial cells.
It is a major constituent of a large number of proteins and can also serve as a metabolic precursor for the neurotransmitter GABA, through the action of glutamate decarboxylase enzyme. Glutamate is vital for many bodily functions which includes sending messages for body movement, creation and the management of memory and regulating the human thought process. It is also very important during the development of the brain. Excess levels of glutamate in the brain have been linked with a number of neurological diseases for example Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and stroke. Also, difficulty in making or even using glutamate have been associated to many mental health disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), autism, depression and schizophrenia.