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Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Oct;34(10):2287-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.04.007. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Cerebrospinal fluid norepinephrine and cognition in subjects across the adult age span.

Author information

1
Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA, USA. wanglucy@u.washington.edu

Abstract

Adequate central nervous system noradrenergic activity enhances cognition, but excessive noradrenergic activity may have adverse effects on cognition. Previous studies have also demonstrated that noradrenergic activity is higher in older than younger adults. We aimed to determine relationships between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) norepinephrine (NE) concentration and cognitive performance by using data from a CSF bank that includes samples from 258 cognitively normal participants aged 21-100 years. After adjusting for age, gender, education, and ethnicity, higher CSF NE levels (units of 100 pg/mL) are associated with poorer performance on tests of attention, processing speed, and executive function (Trail Making A: regression coefficient 1.5, standard error [SE] 0.77, p = 0.046; Trail Making B: regression coefficient 5.0, SE 2.2, p = 0.024; Stroop Word-Color Interference task: regression coefficient 6.1, SE 2.0, p = 0.003). Findings are consistent with the earlier literature relating excess noradrenergic activity with cognitive impairment.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Cognition; Noradrenergic system; Norepinephrine

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