Neurons throughout the nervous system use neurotransmitters to communicate with other neurons and target tissues. These neurotransmitters either excite or inhibit their target.
Within the spinal cord, excitation results primarily from one neurotransmitter. Excess levels of this neurotransmitter or overstimulation of this neurotransmitter's receptor can cause neurodegeneration and neuronal damage through a process called excitotoxicity.
Which neurotransmitter results in excitation within the spinal cord?