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Neuropharmacology. 2013 Jan;64:294-304. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.06.060. Epub 2012 Jul 13.

Leveraging the cortical cholinergic system to enhance attention.

Author information

1
Psychiatry Department, 4250 Plymouth Road, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5765, USA. emd7@duke.edu

Abstract

Attentional impairments are found in a range of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the development of procognitive enhancers to alleviate these impairments has been hindered by a lack of comprehensive hypotheses regarding the circuitry mediating the targeted attentional functions. Here we discuss the role of the cortical cholinergic system in mediating cue detection and attentional control and propose two target mechanisms for cognition enhancers: stimulation of prefrontal α4β2* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) for the enhancement of cue detection and augmentation of tonic acetylcholine levels for the enhancement of attentional control. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Cognitive Enhancers'.

PMID:
22796110
PMCID:
PMC3445745
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuropharm.2012.06.060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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