This article aims to review research in nonhuman primates demonstrating that norepinephrine can enhance the cognitive functioning of the prefrontal cortex through actions at α2A-adrenergic receptors postjunctional to noradrenergic terminals. As prefrontal cortex cognitive deficits are prominent in several psychiatric disorders, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, these basic findings may have relevance for the development of novel pharmacotherapies.
Arnsten AF, Steere JC, Hunt RD. The Contribution of α2-Noradrenergic Mechanisms to Prefrontal Cortical Cognitive FunctionPotential Significance for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53(5):448-455. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1996.01830050084013