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Differential effects of methylphenidate on reticular formation and thalamic neuronal activity

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Intravenous administration of methylphenidate (1 or 2 mg/kg) markedly attenuated the unit discharge rate in the mesencephalic reticular formation of rats and cats. Concurrently this drug enhanced the neural activity in the primary sensory nuclei of the thalamus. The differential effects of methylphenidate on these two neural systems suggest a possible mechanism by which it may improve attentive processes in hyperkinesis.

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Partially supported by USPHS Research Grant MH-19426 to Z.S.K., Training Grant GM-1217 for T.M.S., and Research Scientist Development Award K2-MH-5921 to H.B., III.

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Shih, T.-., Khachaturian, Z.S., Barry, H. et al. Differential effects of methylphenidate on reticular formation and thalamic neuronal activity. Psychopharmacologia 44, 11–15 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00421176

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Key words

  • Methylphenidate
  • Hyperkinesis
  • Mesencephalic Reticular Formation
  • Thalamus
  • Attention
  • Arousal
  • CNS