The convergent endeavors of the neuroscientist to establish a link between clinical neurology, genetics, loss of function of an important protein, and channelopathies behind neurological disorders are quite intriguing. Growing evidence reveals the impact of ion channels dysfunctioning in neurodegenerative disorders (NDDs). Many neurological/neuromuscular disorders, viz, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and age-related disorders are caused due to altered function or mutation in ion channels. To maintain cell homeostasis, ion channels are playing a crucial role which is a large transmembrane protein. Further, these channels are important as it determines the membrane potential and playing critically in the secretion of neurotransmitter. Behind NDDs, losses of pathological proteins and defective ion channels have been reported and are found to aggravate the disease symptoms. Moreover, ion channel dysfunctions are eliciting a range of symptoms, including memory loss, movement disabilities, neuromuscular sprains, and strokes. Since the possible mechanistic role played by aberrant ion channels, their receptor and associated factors in neurodegeneration remained elusive; therefore, it is a challenging task for the neuroscientist to implement the therapeutics for targeting NDDs. This chapter reviews the potential role of the ion channels in membrane physiology and brain homeostasis, where ion channels and their associated factors have been characterized with their functional consequences in neurological diseases. Moreover, mechanistic role of perturbed ion channels has been identified in various NDDs, and finally, ion channel modulators have been investigated for their therapeutic intervention in treating common NDDs.
Keywords: Blood–brain barrier; Homeostasis; Ion channels; NDDs; Synapses; Therapeutics.
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