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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Signs and Symptoms of Low NMDA-Receptor Activity

Yet another topic that is under appreciated and often not compiled in an easily searchable form. So, I've done you all the honor of finding as much information as possible.

Real quickly, NMDA-receptors are a type of glutamate receptor. They induce calcium channel activation and nNOS (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) activation. Activation of them stimulates the nervous system but also produces vasodilation and induction of Growth Factors.

They are counter-regulated (or the function of them is decreased) by GABA-A agonists (and enhanced by GABA-A antagonists). Also the function is positively correlated and enhanced by Histamine H(1) receptors, and thus anti-histamines (among a whole host of other things may decrease NMDA activity).

I will start with the summary to make it easier, the rest of the science science will be below that.
<Signs and Symptoms of NMDA HypoActivity>

Signs and Symptoms of Low NMDA-Receptor Activity

  • You feel lethargic, and undermotivated.
  • You may have insomnia, or sleep too much. 
  • Your spatial memory (e.g directions, or where you put keys) is impaired.
  • Active Memory, Learning and "Conditioning" is impaired.
  • You have a low libido/sexual function - and possibly decreased sex hormones (including estradiol).
  • You may either have high or low blood pressure, and you respond poorly to workouts.
  • You may feel like people are reading your thoughts, and may be paranoid.
  • You may feel dependent on Stimulants or Alcohol.
  • Your ability to stay on task is hampered, or you lack consistency.
  • You may be very irritable.

Things that Mimic (or cause) the State of NMDA Hypoactivity 

  • Using AntiHistamine's such as Benadryl. (H1 antagonists tend to produce similar state)
  • Using Xanax, Klonopine or other GABA-A agonists (as they decrease activity)
  • Low Testosterone-Estrogen/E2 Levels (or aromatization) (as Free T/Estrogen generally facilitates NMDA function) (goes for both men and women)
  • Low Protein Intake
  • Abuse of Nitrous Oxide Drugs (as N.O antagonizes NMDA)
  • Chronic Stimulant Use (especially decongestants)
  • SSRI use, or use of Hallucinogen's (which artificially decrease glutamate)
  • High Carbohydrate Diet 
  • Eating foods with MSG for long periods of time, then suddenly stopping.
  • Taking NMDA-antagonists (like ketamine, PCP, and the brain booster "Huperzine-A")
  • Taking too Much Zinc and / or Magnesium Supplement.

****To avoid NMDA or glutamate HypoActivity, take into consideration all of the above****

In addition. You can do the following to raise general glutamate function. 

  • Eat a high Protein Diet.
  • Supplement with NMDA-agonists like D-Aspartic Acid/Sarcosine combination and / or NMDA directly as a supplement.
  • Supplement with other Glutamate Analogues such as "NCG"

Recommended Products.

AI Sports Nutrition D-Aspartic Acid  (will raise NMDA function, also acts as agonist)


  1. because glutamate plays a vital role in oxytocin function - most people would say low glutamate and low NMDA would = apathy and lack of emotions. i def agree with ur article other than that!

  2. is Low NMDA-Receptor Activity common or rare? also can it cause excess serotonin levels?

    1. Its actually relatively common, many people in inner cities and with low economic value are exposed to elements which render their NMDA-receptors inactive (Lead, Cadmium, Flouride etc).
      It also is defective in cases of Schizophrenia where genes related to the receptor are present.
      Some evidence has stated that OCD may be related to low NMDA-receptor activity.

      Inner City and Lead -->
      Lead and NMDA-receptor function -->
      NMDA-receptors and Schizophrenia, OCD and Mental Illness.


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