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A behavioral and neurochemical study of memory and senescent memory in the rat and the alleviation of age related cognitive deficits through chronic choline chloride administration.

Lawrence, P.; (1990) A behavioral and neurochemical study of memory and senescent memory in the rat and the alleviation of age related cognitive deficits through chronic choline chloride administration. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The Cholinergic Hypothesis of geriatric memory dysfunction holds that memory deficits in old age and Alzheimer's disease are due to degradation of the acetylcholine neurotransmitter system. Attempts to remedy these deficits in Alzheimer's disease, by administering cholinergic agonists, have been generally unsuccessful. It was hypothesised in this study that whilst acetylcholine precursors may be ineffectual as a cure for senile deficits, they may be effective at preventing the deficits from occurring. Young, middle aged and old rats were used as a model for aging. They were tested on a battery of cognitive tests, to establish whether or not old rats suffer memory impairments, and are thus a suitable model for aging man. All rats were maintained on one of three chronic choline chloride diets from weaning until death. After sacrifice the rat brains were assayed for whole brain choline content. The main hypothesis of this study was that old rats maintained on a normal diet would show impairment, whilst old rats on a supplemented choline diet would show no impairment. Old rats were impaired on a spatial learning task but were not impaired on memory tasks in the main study. Results from control studies suggested that old rats may show apparent cognitive deficit if they are not allowed ample exposure to the test environment before testing.lt is also suggested that fear may interact with age and yield false mnemonic deficits on some paradigms. There were several drug effects, but whilst all of these were in the predicted direction, they did not take the form of a clear pattern. The results suggest that choline chloride has moderate effects on cognition, effects that may not always manifest themselves significantly. Other rodent models of Alzheimer's disease are discussed, as are alternative theories as to the cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: A behavioral and neurochemical study of memory and senescent memory in the rat and the alleviation of age related cognitive deficits through chronic choline chloride administration.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Biological sciences; Psychology; Cognitive decline
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122548
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