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Roles of Alpha 2 Adrenoceptor in Prefrontal Cortical Cognitive Functions

MAO Zheng Mei 1, LI Bao Ming 1, ARNSTEN AFT 2 ( 1 Laboratory of Neurobiology, Shanghai Institute of Physiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031; 2 Section of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520)  
Studies in non human primates have demonstrated that norepinephrine can improve, through actions at postsynaptical alpha 2A adrenoceptors, cognitive functions of the prefrontal cortex, such as attentional regulation, working memory and response inhibition. Several psychiatric disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), show prominent syndromes seen in cognitive deficits of the prefrontal cortex. These basic studies help develop novel pharmacotherapies for psychiatric disorders such as ADHD.
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