Voltage-gated calcium channels are the primary mediators of depolarization-induced calcium entry into neurons. There is great diversity of calcium channel subtypes due to multiple genes that encode calcium channel α1 subunits, coassembly with a variety of ancillary calcium channel subunits, and alternative splicing. This allows these channels to fulfill highly specialized roles in specific neuronal subtypes and at particular subcellular loci. While calcium channels are of critical importance to brain function, their inappropriate expression or dysfunction gives rise to a variety of neurological disorders, including, pain, epilepsy, migraine, and ataxia. This Review discusses salient aspects of voltage-gated calcium channel function, physiology, and pathophysiology.
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