|New therapeutic strategies are needed for a diverse array of poorly understood neurological impairments. These include neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and the psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety and drug dependence. Popular neuropharmacotherapies
have focused on dopamine (DA), serotonin (5HT), γ-aminobutric acid (GABA) and glutamate systems (Jupp & Lawrence, 2010). However recent research points to the sigma receptor (σR) as a possible neuromodulatory system. Due to its multi-receptor action, the σR can trigger several significant biological pathways. This indicates its ideal potential as a drug target to effectively minimise drug dosage and potential side effects.
Currently there are a limited number of σR ligands available and few possess the selectivity to significantly show σR’s role in neurological processes. Polycyclic amines have shown notable sigma activity and provide an advantageous scaffold for drug design that can improve pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties (Banister et al., 2010; Geldenhuys et al., 2005). Aryl-heterocycle amine groups were also shown to improve σR activity (Piergentili et al., 2009).