Conventional NMDA receptor antagonists have failed as therapeutics against neurodegenerative diseases, largely because NMDA receptors contribute to synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Only extrasynaptic NMDA receptors promote neuronal death. A new means of curbing this sort of cell death has been found. It doesn’t interfere with calcium flow. Instead, it inhibits a physical interaction between the NMDA receptor and another membrane element, TRPM4.
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