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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1997 Jul;21(4):455-68.

Aminoadamantanes as NMDA receptor antagonists and antiparkinsonian agents--preclinical studies.

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Dept of Pharmacology, Merz + Co. Frankfurt/Main, Germany.


Aminoadamantanes such as 1-aminoadamantane (amantadine) and 1-amino-3,5-dimethyladamantane (memantine) are N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists which show antiparkinsonian-like activity in animal models and in Parkinson's patients. The issue of whether NMDA antagonism plays a role in the symptomatological antiparkinsonian activity of amantadine and memantine is addressed by comparing: behaviourally effective doses, serum/brain levels, and their potency as NMDA receptor antagonists. In the case of memantine, blockade of NMDA receptors is probably the only mechanism responsible for antiparkinsonian activity, whereas for amantadine the situation is clearly far more complex. There are a number of differences between memantine and amantadine both in vitro and in vivo, and although NMDA receptor antagonism certainly participates in the antiparkinsonian activity of amantadine, other effects, some of which are elusive, also play a role. Moreover, it has been suggested that the pathomechanism of Parkinson's disease involves excitotoxic processes and that treatment with NMDA receptor antagonists might also slow the progression of neurodegeneration. If this claim is true, such an effect could be achieved with amantadine and memantine which show neuroprotective activity in animals at therapeutically relevant doses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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