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May 1996

The Contribution of α2-Noradrenergic Mechanisms to Prefrontal Cortical Cognitive FunctionPotential Significance for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Neurobiology, Yale Medical School, New Haven, Conn (Dr Arnsten and Ms Steere), and the Center for Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders, Nashville, Tenn (Dr Hunt).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53(5):448-455. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1996.01830050084013

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.