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Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 1991 Jan-Feb;13(1):43-50.

Learning and memory in rats exposed pre- and postnatally to alcohol. An attempt at pharmacological control.

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Institute of Physiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia.


Using conditioned-reflex methods for active and passive avoidance with punishment reinforcement, we found pronounced memory deficits in 12-week old rats exposed perinatally to alcohol (FAS rats). Impairment of memory was observed not only with the high dose of 9 g ethanol/kg body weight (ingested with tap water in a 6% solution) to which dams were exposed during pregnancy and lactation, but also with the ten-fold lower dose of 1 g ethanol/kg body weight (0.6% ethanol). The nootropic drugs citicholine, piracetam and meclofenoxate administered orally for five days before the training session were effective in decreasing memory deficits; particularly pronounced was the effect of piracetam and meclofenoxate. The benzodiazepine tranquilizer diazepam additionally impaired learning and memory in FAS rats. It is suggested that nootropics could be used to decrease the cognitive disturbances in some humans born to alcoholic mothers.

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