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Neural Regen Res. 2020 Jun;15(6):1006-1013. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.270297.

Locus coeruleus-norepinephrine: basic functions and insights into Parkinson's disease.

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The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Brain Science Institute, Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Department of Physiology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.


The locus coeruleus is a pontine nucleus that produces much of the brain's norepinephrine. Despite its small size, the locus coeruleus is critical for a myriad of functions and is involved in many neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. In this review, we discuss the physiology and anatomy of the locus coeruleus system and focus on norepinephrine's role in synaptic plasticity. We highlight Parkinson's disease as a disorder with motor and neuropsychiatric symptoms that may be understood as aberrations in the normal functions of locus coeruleus.


catecholamines; copper; neurodegenerative diseases; neuromodulation; neuronal circuits; neuropsychiatric symptoms; noradrenaline; synaptic plasticity

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