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Elevated extracellular glutamate, resulting from a loss of astrocytic glutamate transfer capacity, may contribute to excitotoxic motor neuron (MN) damage in ALS. Mechanisms through which Ca-AMPA channels mediate excitotoxic MN injury are also becoming elucidated. While these channels permit rapid Ca2+ entry, MNs buffer cytosolic Ca2+ loads poorly (Lips and Keller, 1998), with the consequence

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