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J Med Food. 2004 Summer;7(2):157-61.

Improvement of mouse memory by Myristica fragrans seeds.

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Pharmacology Division, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar-125001, Haryana, India.


Memory is one of the most complex functions of the brain and involves multiple neural pathways and neurotransmitter systems. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of Myristica fragrans (MF) seeds on learning and memory in mice. The n-hexane extract of MF was administered orally in three doses (5, 10, and 20 mg/kg p.o.) for 3 successive days to different groups of young and aged mice. The learning and memory parameters were assessed using elevated plus-maze and passive-avoidance apparatus. The effect of MF extract on scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg i.p.)- and diazepam (1 mg/kg i.p.)-induced impairment in learning and memory was also studied. MF extract at the lowest dose of 5 mg/kg p.o. administered for 3 successive days significantly improved learning and memory of young and aged mice. This extract also reversed scopolamine- and diazepam-induced impairment in learning and memory of young mice. MF extract enhanced learning and retention capacities of both young and aged mice. The exact mechanism of the memory-improving effect of MF extract was not explored in the present study. But, the observed memory-enhancing effect may be attributed to a variety of properties (individually or in combination) the plant is reported to possess, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, or perhaps procholinergic activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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