Calcium signaling and neurodegenerative diseases

Trends Mol Med. 2009 Mar;15(3):89-100. doi: 10.1016/j.molmed.2009.01.001. Epub 2009 Feb 21.


Neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease (HD) and spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs), present an enormous medical, social, financial and scientific problem. Recent evidence indicates that neuronal calcium (Ca2+) signaling is abnormal in many of these disorders. Similar, but less severe, changes in neuronal Ca2+ signaling occur as a result of the normal aging process. The role of aberrant neuronal Ca2+ signaling in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders is discussed here. The potential utility of Ca2+ blockers for treatment of these disorders is also highlighted. It is reasoned that Ca2+ blockers will be most beneficial clinically when used in combination with other disease-specific therapeutic approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Calcium / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / drug therapy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / physiology


  • Calcium