The Role of Norepinephrine in Emotional Processing
This study will examine the role of a brain chemical called norepinephrine in thinking, decision-making, and emotional processing. After norepinephrine is released from a brain cell, it binds to another brain cell's receptor. Some of the receptors it binds to are called alpha-2 adrenergic receptors. This study will use medicines called yohimbine and guanfacine to look at the function of norepinephrine in the brain when it binds to the alpha-2 adrenergic receptors. Yohimbine increases norepinephrine's function and guanfacine decreases its function.
Healthy volunteers between 20 and 50 years of age who do not have heart disease, high blood pressure, psychiatric illness, or other serious medical conditions and who are not allergic to lactose may be eligible for this study. Candidates are screened with a medical and psychiatric history, physical examination, neuropsychological testing, blood and urine tests and electrocardiogram. Women are screened with a urine pregnancy test.
Participants are given a pill of yohimbine, guanfacine, or placebo and undergo the following tests and procedures:
- Blood pressure and heart rate measurements: Blood pressure and heart rate are measured before the medication is taken and several times after.
- Blood draws: Blood is drawn before the medicine is taken and 90 minutes after to measure levels of norepinephrine and the hormone cortisol.
- Neurocognitive testing: Participants do neurocognitive tasks on the computer for up to 90 minutes. The tasks involve looking at pictures or words on a screen and responding according to instructions given.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Patients may undergo neurocognitive testing MRIs. This test uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to show changes in brain activity. The subject lies on a table that slides into a narrow cylinder (the MRI scanner). Images of the brain are obtained while the subject performs the computer tasks.
|Psychopathy Mental Disorders|
|Official Title:||Investigating the Role of Norepinephrine in Emotional Processing Through Alpha-2 Adrenergic Receptor Modulation|
|Study Start Date:||April 26, 2005|
|Study Completion Date:||March 15, 2009|
|Primary Completion Date:||March 15, 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)|
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00109642
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|