NMDA receptor antagonists are a class of anesthetics that work to antagonize, or inhibit the action of, the N-methyl d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). They are used as anesthesia for animals and, less commonly, for humans; the state of anesthesia they induce is referred to as dissociative anesthesia. Memantine is an uncompetitive NMDA channel blocker. Memantine is the first in a novel class of Alzheimer's disease medications acting on the glutamatergic system by blocking NMDA glutamate…
There is evidence that NMDA receptor antagonists can cause a certain type of neurotoxicity or brain damage referred to as Olney's Lesions in rodents, although such damage has never been conclusively observed in primates like humans. However, adolescent cynomolgus monkeys that were injected daily for six months with the non-competitive NMDA antagonist ketamine showed decreased locomotor activity and increased apoptosis of cells in their prefrontal cortices.
NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) is the selective agonist that binds to NMDA receptors but not to other glutamate receptors. The NMDA receptor (NMDAR) is the predominant molecular device for controlling synaptic plasticity and memory function. The NMDAR is a type of ionotropic glutamate receptor. Activation of NMDA receptors requires binding of glutamate or aspartate (aspartate does not stimulate the receptors as strongly). In addition, NMDARs also require the binding of the co-agonist glycine.
"Anti-NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor encephalitis is an acute form of encephalitis, potentially lethal but with high probability for recovery, caused by autoimmune reaction against NR1- and NR2-subunits of the glutamate NMDA receptor. Different descriptions and syndromal designations for this disease existed in the medical literature prior to 2007, when the cause was established and it received its current name."