REVIEW – June 2009

NMDA receptors in neurological diseases


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Calcium flux through NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartic acid) receptors is thought to play an important role in synaptic plasticity, a physiologic cellular mechanism. Under constant functional activation of NMDA receptors Ca2+ ions induce a number of biochemical intracellular processes, which  result in neuronal degeneration. Blocking of this process is a potential treatment target in some neurodegenerative disorders. This short review focuses on a few neurologic conditions in which NMDA antagonism is either already in clinical use or is being actively investigated.