NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) is the selective agonist that binds to NMDA receptors but not to other glutamate receptors. The NMDA receptor (NMDAR) is the predominant molecular device for controlling synaptic plasticity and memory function. The NMDAR is a type of ionotropic glutamate receptor. Activation of NMDA receptors requires binding of glutamate or aspartate (aspartate does not stimulate the receptors as strongly). In addition, NMDARs also require the binding of the co-agonist glycine.
Glutamate can become what's called an "exitotoxin," meaning that it appears to excite neurons until they die, In FMS, research shows abnormally high levels of glutamate in a part of the brain called the insula or insular cortex. Researchers went looking there because that area is highly involved in pain and emotion, which are key components of the condition. In ME/CFS, some researchers hypothesize that glutamate function is low, which means the brain isn't getting enough stimulatio