Dantrolene: mechanisms of neuroprotection and possible clinical applications in the neurointensive care unit

Neurocrit Care. 2009;10(1):103-15. doi: 10.1007/s12028-008-9133-4. Epub 2008 Aug 12.


Calcium plays a central role in neuronal function and injury. Dantrolene, an inhibitor of the ryanodine receptor, inhibits intracellular calcium release from the sarco-endoplasmic reticulum. We review the available data of dantrolene as a potential neuroprotective agent and briefly summarize its other pharmacologic effects that may have potential applications for patients in the neurointensive care unit (NICU). Areas with the need for continued research are identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Diseases / etiology
  • Brain Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Critical Care*
  • Dantrolene / pharmacology*
  • Dantrolene / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Muscle Relaxants, Central / pharmacology*
  • Muscle Relaxants, Central / therapeutic use
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / drug effects


  • Muscle Relaxants, Central
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel
  • Dantrolene
  • Calcium