Excitotoxin

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Excitotoxin

(Science: protein) class of substances that damage neurons through paroxysmal overactivity. They are toxins that bind to certain receptors (e.g., certain glutamate receptors) and may cause neuronal cell death.

The best known excitotoxins are the excitatory amino acids, that can produce lesions in the cNS similar to those of Huntingdon's chorea or alzheimers disease.

Excitotoxicity is thought to contribute to neuronal cell death associated with stroke.