Benzodiazepines (BDZs) bind to the gamma sub-unit of the GABA-A receptor. Their binding causes an allosteric (structural) modification of the receptor that results in an increase in GABA A receptor activity. BDZs do not substitute for GABA, which bind at the alpha sub-unit, but increase the frequency of channel opening events which leads to an increase in chloride ion conductance and inhibition of the action potential.

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