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Brain Res. 1999 Apr 24;826(1):148-53.

Reduced mastication stimulates impairment of spatial memory and degeneration of hippocampal neurons in aged SAMP8 mice.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, 2nd Division, Gifu University School of Medicine, 40 Tsukasa-machi, Gifu, 500-8705, Japan. onozuka@cc.gifu-u.ac.jp


The involvement of reduced mastication in senile dementia was evaluated by examining the effect of cutting off the upper molars (molarless) on spatial memory and numbers of hippocampal neurons in aged SAMP8 mice. Molarless mice showed a decrease in both learning ability in a water maze and neuron density in the hippocampal CA1 region compared with control mice. These changes increased the longer the molarless condition persisted. The data suggest a possible link between reduced mastication and hippocampal neuron loss that may be one risk factor for senile impairment of spatial memory.

Copyright 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

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