Glutamate receptor modulators

What are glutamate modulators? 

Antipsychotic medications predominantly target the dopamine neurotransmitter system, with some efficacy for alleviating the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. However, the persistence of negative and cognitive symptoms suggests that other mechanisms are also likely to be involved. Reduction of glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor function may represent a primary neuropathology in schizophrenia. Therefore, glutamate receptor modulators have been suggested as an adjunctive therapy to standard antipsychotic treatments, when individuals have sub-optimal responses to treatment. The glutamate receptor modulators that have been trialed in schizophrenia are predominantly amino acids, and act on several different aspects of the glutamatergic neurotransmission system. Agents include glycine, D-serine, D-cycloserine, D-alanine, CX516, sarcosine, N-acetyl cysteine, and memantine. These agents have been studied for efficacy in improving symptom severity and cognitive function.

What is the evidence for glutamate modulators?

Low quality evidence is unable to determine any benefit of D-cycloserine or sarcosine as an alternative treatment to antipsychotics for mental state or cognition (very small samples).

October 2020

Last updated at: 2:52 am, 1st October 2020
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