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Neuropharmacology. 1995 Jul;34(7):713-21.

Therapeutic brain concentration of the NMDA receptor antagonist amantadine.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of W├╝rzburg, Germany.


Amantadine (1-amino-adamantane) is clinically used for the management of Parkinson's disease and drug-induced extrapyramidal symptoms. It has previously been shown that amantadine is a low-affinity uncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist with rapid blocking and unblocking channel kinetics (Ki-value at the PCP binding site = 10 microM). The aim of the present studies was to estimate concentrations of amantadine in the central nervous system under therapeutic conditions. In homogenates of postmortem human brain tissue the amantadine concentration appeared to be homogeneously distributed over a wide range of brain areas. Amantadine concentration increased with duration of treatment and decreased wit drug-free time. When the duration of treatment was > or = 10 days and drug-free time < or = 3 days, mean amantadine concentrations in postmortem brain tissue ranged from 48.2 to 386 microM. In contrast to brain tissue, amantadine concentration in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum was in the low micromolar range ( < 17 microM). CSF and serum total values were highly correlated to each other and were always lower in CSF. The mean CSF/serum ratio for total amantadine was 0.76. To further estimate the extracellular concentration, amantadine was determined in microdialysates in the rat striatum. At behaviorally active doses, amantadine concentration in striatal microdialysates ranged between 6 and 21 microM. These results indicate that extracellular concentrations of amantadine (CSF and serum values in patients, striatal microdialysates in the rat) are in the range of its Ki-value at the PCP binding site. Amantadine concentrations in brain tissue are much higher, probably due to intralysosomal accumulation.

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