Alpha 2-adrenergic mechanisms in prefrontal cortex associated with cognitive decline in aged nonhuman primates

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Science  13 Dec 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4731, pp. 1273-1276
DOI: 10.1126/science.2999977


This study provides evidence that the alpha 2-adrenergic receptor agonist clonidine ameliorates the cognitive deficits exhibited by aged nonhuman primates through drug actions at alpha 2 receptors. Furthermore, pharmacological profiles in animals with lesions restricted to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex indicate that this area may be the site of action for some of clonidine's beneficial effects. These results demonstrate that alpha-adrenergic systems contribute to cognitive function and suggest a new strategy for treating memory disorders in aged humans.

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