Midazolam is a benzodiazepine that at low doses is widely used in periprocedural care settings to assure amnesia and produce anxiolysis and sedation, while high doses are less frequently used to induce hypnosis (unconsciousness). Midazolam is also used to acutely suppress seizures. The molecular targets mediating these drug effects are γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors in the central nervous system, pentameric ligand-gated chloride channels that, when activated, hyperpolarize neurons and suppress their activation. This is the vastly oversimplified story we teach medical students, omitting many detailed scientific discoveries and unanswered questions that make the story of benzodiazepines fascinating, multifaceted, and open-ended. Important questions include the following: What types of GABAA receptors mediate the various neurobiologic effects of benzodiazepines? What are the relevant neural circuits mediating those effects? How are GABAA receptor subtypes distributed in those circuits and associated glial cells? Can pharmacologically targeting benzodiazepine sites...

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