Memantine Hydrochloride is the hydrochloride salt of memantine, a low-affinity, voltage-dependent, noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist. Memantine binds to and inhibits cation channels of glutamanergic NMDA receptors located in the central nervous system (CNS), preventing the prolonged influx of calcium ions and the associated neuronal excitotoxicity, and thereby potentially enhancing cognitive function. Memantine is also a 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5HT3) receptor and nicotinic receptor antagonist.
It is different from many other Alzheimer’s Disease medications, as it works by a different mechanism than the cholinesterase enzyme inhibitors normally employed in the management of Alzheimer’s disease. Memantine blocks the effects of glutamate, a neurotransmitter in the brain that leads to neuronal excitability and excessive stimulation in Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2010, it was estimated that 36 million people worldwide live with Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2013, this number increased to 44 million. Almost doubling every 20 years, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease is predicted to reach 66 million by 2030 and to 115 million by 2050. In December 2013, the G8 dementia summit concluded that dementia should be considered a global priority with the objective of developing a cure or a disease-modifying therapy by the year 2025.