NMDA Receptor Antagonists: Repositioning of Memantine as a Multitargeting Agent for Alzheimer's Therapy

Author(s): Md. Tanvir Kabir, Mohammad A. Sufian, Md. Sahab Uddin*, Mst. Marium Begum, Shammi Akhter, Ariful Islam, Bijo Mathew, Md. Siddiqul Islam, Md. Shah Amran, Ghulam Md. Ashraf*.

Journal Name: Current Pharmaceutical Design

Volume 25 , Issue 33 , 2019


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Currently, there is no drug that can reduce the pathological events of this degenerative disease but symptomatic relief is possible that can abate the disease condition. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors exert a critical role for synaptic plasticity as well as transmission. Overstimulation of glutamate receptors, predominantly NMDA type, may cause excitotoxic effects on neurons and is recommended as a mechanism for neurodegeneration. Atypical activation of the NMDA receptor has been suggested for AD by synaptic dysfunction. NMDA receptor antagonists especially memantine block the NMDA receptor and can reduce the influx of calcium (Ca2+) ions into neuron, thus, toxic intracellular events are not activated. This review represents the role of NMDA receptors antagonists as potential therapeutic agents to reduce AD. Moreover, this review highlights the repositioning of memantine as a potential novel therapeutic multitargeting agent for AD.

Keywords: NMDA antagonists, memantine, glutamate receptors, amyloid beta, tau, Alzheimer’s disease.

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