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J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;27(3):477-82. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2011-110650.

Memantine affects cognitive flexibility in the Morris water maze.

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Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Program in Neuroscience, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is multi-factorial mental disorder characterized by a copious array of congruent features cumulating in disrupted memory and dysthymia. Though the mechanism remains elusive, the highly unspecific pharmaceutical, memantine, provides modest benefits for patients with moderate-to-severe AD. A greater understanding of how memantine affects cognitive function promises to facilitate the search for better therapeutics. We therefore examined cognitive flexibility of mice following 5 and 10 mg/kg memantine administration using a platform re-location water maze. Strikingly, subjects receiving memantine demonstrated memory impairment relative to controls when re-trained off drug, revealing a novel and unusual disruption of cognitive flexibility.

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