NMDA receptor modulators in the treatment of drug addiction

Seven E. Tomek, Amber L. LaCrosse, Natali E. Nemirovsky, Michael Olive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Glutamate plays a pivotal role in drug addiction, and the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor subtype serves as a molecular target for several drugs of abuse. In this review, we will provide an overview of NMDA receptor structure and function, followed by a review of the mechanism of action, clinical efficacy, and side effect profile of NMDA receptor ligands that are currently in use or being explored for the treatment of drug addiction. These ligands include the NMDA receptor modulators memantine and acamprosate, as well as the partial NMDA agonist D-cycloserine. Data collected to date suggest that direct NMDA receptor modulators have relatively limited efficacy in the treatment of drug addiction, and that partial agonism of NMDA receptors may have some efficacy with regards to extinction learning during cue exposure therapy. However, the lack of consistency in results to date clearly indicates that additional studies are needed, as are studies examining novel ligands with indirect mechanisms for altering NMDA receptor function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-268
Number of pages18
JournalPharmaceuticals
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 6 2013

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Keywords

  • Antagonist
  • Glutamate
  • Glycine binding site
  • N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor
  • Partial agonist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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