NMDA receptors are king

  • NMDA receptors play a vital role in memory
  • NMDA dysfunction is of course key to chronic pain, though there are non-NMDA pathways though the thalamus in mice….
  • NMDA blockage 2 days in a row with ketamine will cause temporary remission of depression for up to 5 days in 70% of cases meaning NMDA dysfunction also important in depression

Now it appears NMDA dysfuction in involved in borderline personality disorder, thought by some to be a bipolar disease variant. – wonder if they have much more pain….

Psychiatry Neurosci. 2007 March; 32(2): 103–115.
Copyright © 2007 Canadian Medical Association
NMDA neurotransmission as a critical mediator of borderline personality disorder
Bernadette Grosjean and Guochuan E. Tsai
Department of Psychiatry, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California, and Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute.
Studies of the neurobehavioural components of borderline personality disorder (BPD) have shown that symptoms and behaviours of BPD are partly associated with disruptions in basic neurocognitive processes, in particular, in the executive neurocognition and memory systems. A growing body of data indicates that the glutamatergic system, in particular, the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) subtype receptor, plays a major role in neuronal plasticity, cognition and memory and may underlie the pathophysiology of multiple psychiatric disorders. In this paper, we review the literature regarding BPD and its cognitive deficits and the current data on glutamatergic and NMDA neurotransmission. We propose that multiple cognitive dysfunctions and symptoms presented by BPD patients, like dissociation, psychosis and impaired nociception, may result from the dysregulation of the NMDA neurotransmission. This impairment may be the result of a combination of biological vulnerability and environmental influences mediated by the NMDA neurotransmission.

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2 Responses to NMDA receptors are king

  1. Jonathan Still, MD says:

    I am a third year resident in psychiatry at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, work with Dr. Grosjean, and am familiar with her work. It seems plausible that NMDA dysfunction could impact nociception in patients with BPD in several distinct ways. There does seem to be a greater prevalence of central pain disorders in these patients, but paradoxically, there is also an elevated pain threshold for localized nociception as well (as in cutting). Any thoughts?

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