In this review we discuss the adrenergic pathways for alpha 1 and alpha 2 receptors and the current as well as potential future medication targeting these receptors. Overall, there is ongoing research into a multitude of directions with a promising outlook for alpha 1 and alpha 2 adrenergic receptors. The alpha 1-adrenergic receptor subfamily is currently modulating only a modest number of nervous system functions due the fact, that only a relatively small number of selective commercial products are available. Chronic stress can affect the long-term depression of alpha 1 receptors. Recent studies are searching for new molecular targets which might act on these receptors. Presynaptic alpha 2 receptors play an important role in modulating release of several neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. The future of alpha 2 adrenergic receptors in clinical practice looks even more promising and versatile than that of alpha 1 adrenergic receptors. Alpha 2 adrenergic receptors show different responses, especially regarding hypertension and heart failure treatment, and current research suggests a genetic component as a cause, which is being explored further.
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