Synergistic tonic and phasic activity of the locus coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE) arousal system is required for optimal attentional performance.
Summary of "Synergistic tonic and phasic activity of the locus coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE) arousal system is required for optimal attentional performance."
A certain level of arousal is required for an individual to perform optimally, and the locus coeruleus norepinephrine (LC-NE) system plays a central role in optimizing arousal. Tonic firing of LC-NE neurons needs to be held within a narrow range of 1-3 Hz to facilitate phasic firing of the LC-NE neurons; these two modes of activity act synergistically, to allow the individual to perform attentional tasks optimally. How this information can be applied to further our understanding of psychiatric disorders has not been fully elucidated. Here we propose two models of altered LC-NE activity that result in attentional deficits characteristic of psychiatric disorders: 1) 'hypoaroused' individuals with e.g. attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have decreased tonic firing of the LC-NE system, resulting in decreased cortical arousal and poor attentional performance and 2) 'hyperaroused' individuals with e.g. anxiety disorders have increased tonic firing of the LC-NE system, resulting in increased cortical arousal and impaired attentional performance. We argue that hypoarousal (decreased tonic firing of LC-NE neurons) and hyperarousal (increased tonic firing of LC-NE neurons) are suboptimal states in which phasic activity of LC-NE neurons is impeded. To further understand the neurobiology of attentional dysfunction in psychiatric disorders a translational approach that integrates findings on the LC-NE arousal system from animal models and human imaging studies may be useful.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory, 7925, Cape Town, South Africa, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Metabolic brain disease
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22399276
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11011-012-9287-9
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers and of the diffuse projection system in the brain arising from the locus ceruleus. It is also found in plants and is used pharmacologically as a sympathomimetic.
Bluish region in the superior angle of the fourth ventricle floor, corresponding to melanin-like pigmented nerve cells which lie lateral to the ponto-mesencephalic central gray (griseum centrale). It is also known as nucleus pigmentosus pontis.
Locus Control Region
A regulatory region first identified in the human beta-globin locus but subsequently found in other loci. The region is believed to regulate GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION by opening and remodeling CHROMATIN structure. It may also have enhancer activity.
A potent inhibitor of ADENOSINE DEAMINASE. The drug induces APOPTOSIS of LYMPHOCYTES, and is used in the treatment of many lymphoproliferative malignancies, particularly HAIRY CELL LEUKEMIA. It is also synergistic with some other antineoplastic agents and has immunosuppressive activity.
Sleep Arousal Disorders
Sleep disorders characterized by impaired arousal from the deeper stages of sleep (generally stage III or IV sleep).
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