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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2002 Jul;80(7):679-85.

[The influence of age on radiation-induced cognitive deficit:experimental studies on brain irradiation of 30 gy in 10 sessions and 12 hours in the Wistar rat at 1 1/2, 4 and 18 months age].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Laboratoire de Chimie et Biophysique des Traceurs, Faculté de Médecine Xavier Bichat, Paris, France.


The objective of this study was to determine the influence of age on the learning and memory dysfunction induced by cranial radiation in the male Wistar rat. Ninety-six 45-day-old, 70 4-month-old, and 78 18-month-old male rats were divided in two equal groups: (i) irradiated and (ii) control. A course of whole-brain radiation therapy (30 Gy in 10 fractions over 12 days) was administered to the irradiated group, while the control group received sham irradiation. Sequential behavioral studies including one and two-way avoidance tests were undertaken before and after the 7 months following radiation. The results suggest that radiation induced progressive and irreversible memory dysfunction in elderly (18-month-old) rats, but this effect was partial or almost reversible in the 4-month-old and 45-day-old rats, respectively. In return, the learning dysfunction was age non-dependent despite the fact that is occurs more rapidly in the young (45 days, 4 months) rats.

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