Conclusions

The most prominant focus of glutamate receptor pharmacology has been in the fields of stroke, epilepsy and parkinsonism. However, the cognitive/memory disruption caused by certain NMDA receptor antagonists and the cognitive enhancement by AMPA receptor modulators or mGluR2 agonists remind us that both ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors play important roles in normal mental processes. Moreover, there is increasing recognition that synaptic plasticities underlying components of addiction may be mediated by glutamate receptors whose subunit composition has been altered during chronic exposure to addictive drugs. In the past decade, much has been learned of the structure and function of the multiple classes of glutamate receptor. One looks forward to more precise and targeted study of the roles of particular glutamate receptors or subunits in the addictive or reward processes with the improved availability of genetically modified mice.

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