Neuroprotective Properties of 4-Aminopyridine

As an antagonist of voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP) is used as symptomatic therapy in several neurologic disorders. The improvement of visual function and motor skills and relieve of fatigue in patients with MS have been attributed to 4-AP. Its prolonged release formulation (fampridine) has been approved for the symptomatic treatment of walking disability in MS. The beneficial effects were explained by the blockade of axonal Kv channels, thereby enhancing conduction along demyelinated axons. However, an increasing body of evidence suggests that 4-AP may have additional properties beyond the symptomatic mode of action. In this review, we summarize preclinical and clinical data on possible neuroprotective features of 4-AP.

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