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Brain Aging and Disorders of the Central Nervous System: Kynurenines and Drug Metabolism

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 5 ]


Nóra Török, Zsófia Majláth, Ferenc Fülöp, József Toldi and László Vécsei   Pages 412 - 429 ( 18 )


Introduction: The kynurenine pathway includes several neuroactive compounds, including kynurenic acid, picolinic acid, 3-hydroxykynurenine and quinolinic acid. The enzymatic cascade of the kynurenine pathway is tightly connected with the immune system, and may provide a link between the immune system and neurotransmission.

Main Areas Covered: Alterations in this cascade are associated with neurodegenerative, neurocognitive, autoimmune and psychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, migraine or schizophrenia.

Highlights: This review highlights the alterations in this metabolic pathway in the physiological aging process and in different disorders. A survey is also presented of therapeutic possibilities of influencing this metabolic route, which can be achieved through the use of synthetic kynurenic acid analogues, enzyme inhibitors or even nanotechnology.


Aging, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, glutamate excitotoxicity, Huntington’s disease, kynurenine pathway, migraine, multiple sclerosis, neurodegeneration, neuroprotection, Parkinson’s disease, picolinic acid, schizophrenia, Toxoplasma gondii.


Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, 6 Semmelweis u., H-6725 Szeged, Hungary.

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