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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2008 Feb;8(1):2-7. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Adenosine as a neuromodulator in neurological diseases.

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Legacy Research, R.S. Dow Neurobiology Laboratories, 1225 NE 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97232, USA.


Adenosine is a modulator of brain function uniquely positioned to integrate excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. The past few years brought a wealth of new data fostering our understanding of how the adenosine system is involved in the pathogenesis of neurological diseases. Thus, dysregulation of the adenosine system is implicated in epileptogenesis and cell therapies have been developed to locally augment adenosine in an approach to prevent seizures. While activation of inhibitory adenosine A(1) receptors is beneficial in epilepsy, chronic pain and cerebral ischemia, inhibition of facilitatory A(2A) receptors has profound neuroprotective effects, which are currently exploited in clinical trials in Parkinson's disease. A new era of adenosine-based therapies has begun, with the prospect to cover a wide range of neurological diseases.

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