A recent search on PubMed for the phrase NMDA receptor results in 2,190 hits on this topic for review articles and 20,100 hits for experimental papers. This is a direct reflection of the intensiveness, significance, and complexity associated with the research on this key receptor protein over the last several decades. In this review, we briefly describe the NMDA receptor structure, discuss the role of NMDA receptors in modulating synaptic plasticity and excitotoxicity, explore age-dependent changes in NMDA receptor functioning, and survey interesting NMDA receptor blockers. Given the huge existing literature on the subject, an exhaustive review has not been endeavored. Instead, an attempt was made to point out those studies that have been instrumental in the field or that are of special interest.