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Common words used when talking about Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia - DementiaGuide.com
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NMDA Receptor

The NMDA receptor (NMDAR) is a type of glutamate receptor that participates in excitatory neurotransmissions and also binds N-methyl-D-aspartate.In basic terms,a neurotransmitter called glutamate which is required for communications within the brain about learning and memory is in excess when neurons are damaged, as in Alzheimer's disease. In this case, the glutamate pours out and builds up, killing the neurons. The NMDA receptor is one of the receptors which responds to glutamate and ultimately responds too often, resulting in neuron death. These types of drugs (NMDA Receptor Antagonists)inhibit the NMDA receptor, making it no longer respond to glutamate. Therefore, the glutamate still builds up, but without a continuous response from the receptor, the neuron remains healthy.


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Last updated January 13, 2019
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