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Curr Pharm Des. 2019;25(33):3506-3518. doi: 10.2174/1381612825666191011102444.

NMDA Receptor Antagonists: Repositioning of Memantine as a Multitargeting Agent for Alzheimer's Therapy.

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Department of Pharmacy, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Department of Pharmacy, East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Department of Pharmacy, Southeast University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Pharmakon Neuroscience Research Network, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, United States.
Division of Drug Design and Medicinal Chemistry Research Lab, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Ahalia School of Pharmacy, Palakkad, India.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. Currently, there is no drug that can reduce the pathological events of this degenerative disease but symptomatic relief is possible that can abate the disease condition. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors exert a critical role for synaptic plasticity as well as transmission. Overstimulation of glutamate receptors, predominantly NMDA type, may cause excitotoxic effects on neurons and is recommended as a mechanism for neurodegeneration. Atypical activation of the NMDA receptor has been suggested for AD by synaptic dysfunction. NMDA receptor antagonists especially memantine block the NMDA receptor and can reduce the influx of calcium (Ca2+) ions into neuron, thus, toxic intracellular events are not activated. This review represents the role of NMDA receptors antagonists as potential therapeutic agents to reduce AD. Moreover, this review highlights the repositioning of memantine as a potential novel therapeutic multitargeting agent for AD.


Alzheimer’s disease; NMDA antagonists; amyloid beta; glutamate receptors; memantine; tau.

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