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Neuropharmacology. 2008 Jun;54(7):1079-85. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2008.02.014. Epub 2008 Feb 29.

Cognition-enhancing and anxiolytic effects of memantine.

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  • 1Department of Neurobiology, A.I.Virtanen Institute for Molecular sciences, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland.


Memantine, a moderate-affinity NMDA receptor antagonist, is clinically used for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Both clinical and preclinical studies have shown that memantine, at doses producing a steady-state plasma level of 0.5-1 microM, is well tolerated and improves cognition. Here we tested the effects of chronic oral administration of memantine (10, 30 and 100mg/kg per day) producing steady state plasma drug levels ranging between approximately 0.5 and 6 microM on motor, social, emotional and cognitive behavior in normal C57BL/6J mice. Memantine dose-dependently reduced escape latency (hidden platform) and decreased wall swimming tendency in the Morris water maze test, increased time spent in open arms in the elevated plus-maze test, and reduced the number of isolation-induced aggressive attacks, but did not affect exploratory activity in the open field. These data indicate that high, stable doses of memantine improved cognition and exhibited a potential anxiolytic response in normal mice.

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