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Hindering glutamate slows rat brain cancer

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2:21pm, August 29, 2001

Drugs that thwart the effect of a chemical secreted by certain cancerous brain cells could slow the growth of deadly brain tumors, a new study suggests.

The chemical, an amino acid called glutamate, normally acts as a neurotransmitter that brain cells use to signal each other. To serve this purpose, glutamate must move cleanly between cells. However, excess glutamate spilled into the space between cells can cause neurons, the information-carrying brain cells, to fire out of control and die.

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