Author: JW Larrick, AR Mendelsohn.
Rejuvenation Res. 2011 Oct;14(5):557-9.
Higher cognitive functions, such as working memory and the ability to focus attention, decline as people age. Recently, it has been reported that decline in working memory in aging rhesus monkeys correlates with the loss of activity of a specific set of neurons in the prefrontal cortex during a delay following a learning cue. The activity of these neurons can be rescued by stimulating α-2 adrenergic receptors, inhibiting cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) signaling, or closing potassium channels that are known to inhibit firing and synaptic connectivity. Agents that stimulate neurons expressing α-2 adrenergic receptors may prove useful in treating working memory loss in humans.