Atomoxetine enhances a short-term model of plasticity in humans

Donald J. Foster, David C. Good, Allison Fowlkes, Lumy Sawaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the role of 2 noradrenergic drugs in modulating use-dependent plasticity in humans. Design: Double-blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled crossover design. Setting: A laboratory in a hospital. Participants: A convenience sample of 10 healthy subjects. Intervention: An established paradigm that measures motor memory as a short-term model of use-dependent plasticity. Subjects attended 3 sessions, separated by at least 1 week to allow drug washout. Subjects received atomoxetine (Strattera), venlafaxine (Effexor), or placebo. Main Outcome Measure: Increase in the proportion of movements into the training target zone (TTZ), an indicator of enhanced plasticity. Results: Atomoxetine, but not venlafaxine, significantly increased movements into the TTZ. Conclusions: These results support a role for norepinephrine in enhancing cortical plasticity and suggest potential benefits in using these drugs for improving motor recovery after stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-221
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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