Targeting voltage-gated calcium channels in neurological and psychiatric diseases

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2016 Jan;15(1):19-34. doi: 10.1038/nrd.2015.5. Epub 2015 Nov 6.


Voltage-gated calcium channels are important regulators of brain, heart and muscle functions, and their dysfunction can give rise to pathophysiological conditions ranging from cardiovascular disorders to neurological and psychiatric conditions such as epilepsy, pain and autism. In the nervous system, calcium channel blockers have been used successfully to treat absence seizures, and are emerging as potential therapeutic avenues for pathologies such as pain, Parkinson disease, addiction and anxiety. This Review provides an overview of calcium channels as drug targets for nervous system disorders, and discusses potential challenges and opportunities for the development of new clinically effective calcium channel inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mental Disorders / metabolism*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods*
  • Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*


  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Calcium Channels