Noradrenergic antagonists mitigate amphetamine-induced recovery

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Abstract

Brain injury, including that due to stroke, leaves individuals with cognitive deficits that can disrupt daily aspect of living. As of now there are few treatments that shown limited amounts of success in improving functional outcome. The use of stimulants such as amphetamine have shown some success in improving outcome following brain injury. While the pharmacological mechanisms for amphetamine are known; the specific processes responsible for improving behavioral outcome following injury remain unknown. Understanding these mechanisms can help to refine the use of amphetamine as a potential treatment or lead to the use of other methods that share the same pharmacological properties. One proposed mechanism is amphetamine's impact upon noradrenaline (NA). In the current, study noradrenergic antagonists were administered prior to amphetamine to pharmacologically block α- and β-adrenergic receptors. The results demonstrated that the blockade of these receptors disrupted amphetamines ability to induce recovery from hemispatial neglect using an established aspiration lesion model. This suggests that amphetamine's ability to ameliorate neglect deficits may be due in part to noradrenaline. These results further support the role of noradrenaline in functional recovery. Finally, the development of polytherapies and combined therapeutics, while promising, may need to consider the possibility that drug interactions can negate the effectiveness of treatment.

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