Effect of an α1-adrenergic blocker on plasticity elicited by motor training
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- Sawaki, L., Werhahn, K.J., Barco, R. et al. Exp Brain Res (2003) 148: 504. doi:10.1007/s00221-002-1328-x
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Recovery of motor function elicited by motor training after cortical lesions in rats is enhanced by norepinephrine (neurotransmitter mediating α1-adrenergic function) and downregulated by α1-adrenergic antagonists. In spite of this, α1-adrenergic antagonists are used to treat elderly patients with hypertension and prostate hyperplasia in stroke settings. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a single oral dose of the α1-adrenergic antagonist prazosin on training-dependent plasticity in intact humans, a function thought to contribute to recovery of motor function after cortical lesions. We report that prazosin decreased the ability of motor training to elicit training-dependent plasticity relative to a drug-free condition. These data suggest caution when using α1-adrenergic blockers in rehabilitative clinical settings following brain lesions.