Orexin is a neuropeptide secreted from the lateral hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex concerned in wakefulness and excitement. This study aimed to review the possible neurobiological effect of orexin. A diversity of search strategies was adopted and assumed which included electronic database searches of Medline and PubMed using MeSH terms, keywords, and title words. Orexin plays a vital role in activation of learning, memory acquisition, and consolidation through activation of the monoaminergic system, which affects cognitive flexibility and cognitive function. Orexin stimulates adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) and corticosteroid secretions via activation of the central corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). Cerebrospinal (CSF) and serum orexin serum levels are reduced in depression, schizophrenia, and narcolepsy. However, high orexin serum levels are revealed in drug addictions. Regarding neurodegenerative brain diseases, CSF and serum orexin levels are reduced in Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Huntington’s disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis (MS). Orexin antagonist leads to significant reduction of sympathetic overactivity during withdrawal syndrome. Also, orexin antagonist improves sleep pattern. The orexinergic system is involved in different psychiatric and neurological disorders; therefore targeting of this system could be a possible novel pathway in the management of these disorders. In addition measurement of CSF and serum orexin levels might predict the relapse and withdrawal of addict patients.
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