Precursors of neurotransmitters are increasingly often investigated as potential, easily-accessible methods of neuromodulation. However, the amino-acid glutamine, precursor to the brain's main excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA, remains notably little investigated. The current double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study provides first evidence 2.0 g glutamine administration in healthy adults affects response selection but not motor sequence learning in a serial reaction time task. Specifically, glutamine increased response selection errors when the current target response required a different hand than the directly preceding target response, which might indicate enhanced cortical excitability via a presumed increase in glutamate levels. These results suggest glutamine can alter cortical excitability but, despite the critical roles of glutamate and GABA in motor learning, at its current dose glutamine does not affect sequence learning.
- randomized controlled trials
- Cortical excitability