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Neuron. 2006 Apr 6;50(1):9-11.

NMDA receptors, glial cells, and clinical medicine.

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  • 1Burnham Institute for Medical Research, and The University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Recent reports have overturned a series of dogmas that have been well entrenched in the neuroscience literature concerning NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs). The new data show that NMDARs exist on the myelin sheath formed by oligodendrocytes, that an uncompetitive NMDAR antagonist has successfully passed human clinical trials, and that NMDARs trigger multiple deleterious cascades to inflict cellular damage on both neurons and glia during cerebral ischemia (stroke). These recent findings bode well for clinical intervention with NMDAR antagonists in more neurological disorders than previously thought, including multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy (periventricular leukomalacia), and spinal cord injury.

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