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Characterization of ligand-gated ion channels in neurotransmission. Ligand-gated ion channels are involved in normal synaptic communication and also in pathological conditions (e.g., epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, motor disorders, and schizophrenia). They are also the pharmacological targets in many therapeutic situations (e.g., general anesthetics, sedatives, antiemetics, and some novel analgesics). These ion channels are multi-subunit protein complexes that act as neurotransmitter receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems.