Research Article

Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 504-508

Effect of an α1-adrenergic blocker on plasticity elicited by motor training

  • L. SawakiAffiliated withHuman Cortical Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
  • , K. J. WerhahnAffiliated withHuman Cortical Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
  • , R. BarcoAffiliated withHuman Cortical Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
  • , L. KopylevAffiliated withHuman Cortical Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health
  • , L. G. CohenAffiliated withHuman Cortical Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of HealthBuilding 10, Room 5 N 234, National Institutes of Health Email author 

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Plasticity Motor training Transcranial magnetic stimulation Learning Stroke