African Journal of Psychiatry

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The central noradrenergic system: an overview

M Viljoen, A Panzer


The central noradrenergic system belongs to a group of brainstem neuromodulatory systems previously referred to as the
ascending reticular activating system. In this article a heuristic model is presented of the central noradrenergic system depicting
the major projections to other cerebral areas, its interactions with other neuromodulatory systems, mechanisms through which
it can influence cerebral function, as well as the major functions and disorders associated with alterations in central
noradrenergic activity. It is not the aim of this paper to provide fine detail on the various aspects, but rather to provide a concise
overview where structure and function, as well as the interactions with other systems are brought together. The contents of the
paper are summarized in a diagram.

Keywords: Central noradrenergic system; Neuromodulatory; Brainstem

African Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 10 (3) 2007: pp. 135-141
AJOL African Journals Online