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J Clin Psychiatry. 2003 Mar;64(3):230-1.

Neurotransmission of cognition, part 3. Mechanism of action of selective NRIs: both dopamine and norepinephrine increase in prefrontal cortex.

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Neuroscience Education Institute, Carlsbad, CA 92009, USA.


Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors exploit the fact that dopamine transporters are absent in prefrontal cortex, so dopamine has to hitchhike a ride on the norepinephrine transporter in order to be inactivated. Thus, blocking norepinephrine transporters leads to an increase in both dopamine and norepinephrine levels in prefrontal cortex as well as improvement in cognition in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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