Memantine and kynurenic acid: Current neuropharmacological aspects

Zsófia Majláth, Nóra Török, József Toldi, László Vécsei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Glutamatergic neurotransmission, of special importance in the human brain, is implicated in key brain functions such as synaptic plasticity and memory. The excessive activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors may result in excitotoxic neuronal damage; this process has been implicated in the pathomechanism of different neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Memantine is an uncompetitive antagonist of NMDA receptors with a favorable pharmacokinetic profile, and is therefore clinically well tolerated. Memantine is approved for the treatment of AD, but may additionally be beneficial for other dementia forms and pain conditions. Kynurenic acid (KYNA) is an endogenous antagonist of NMDA receptors which has been demonstrated under experimental conditions to be neuroprotective. The development of a well-tolerated NMDA antagonist may offer a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease and pain syndromes. KYNA may be a valuable candidate for future drug development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-209
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent neuropharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Dementia
  • Glutamate
  • Kynurenic acid
  • Memantine
  • NMDA
  • Neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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