Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 504–508

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

  • L. Sawaki
  • K. J. Werhahn
  • R. Barco
  • L. Kopylev
  • L. G. Cohen
Research Article


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.


Plasticity Motor training Transcranial magnetic stimulation Learning Stroke 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Sawaki
    • 1
  • K. J. Werhahn
    • 1
  • R. Barco
    • 1
  • L. Kopylev
    • 1
  • L. G. Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Cortical Physiology Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Building 10, Room 5 N 234National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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