: Cognitive disorders such as amnesia, attention deficit and Alzheimer′s disease are emerging nightmares in
the field of medicine because no exact cure exists for them, as existing nootropic agents (piractam, tacrine, metrifonate) have several limitations.
The present study was undertaken to investigate the effect of Prunus amygdalus
(PA) nuts on cognitive functions, total cholesterol levels and cholinesterase (ChE) activity in scopolamine-induced amnesia in rats.
Materials and Methods
: The paste of PA nuts was administered orally at three doses (150, 300 and 600 mg/kg) for 7 and 14 consecutive days to the
respective groups of rats. Piracetam (200 mg/kg) was used as a standard nootropic agent. Learning and memory parameters were evaluated using elevated plus maze
(EPM), passive avoidance and motor activity paradigms. Brain ChE activity and serum biochemical parameters like total cholesterol, total triglycerides and glucose were evaluated.
: It was observed that PA at the above-mentioned doses after 7 and 14 days of administration in the respective groups significantly reversed
scopolamine (1 mg/kg i.p.)-induced amnesia, as evidenced by a decrease in the transfer latency in the EPM task and step-down latency in the passive avoidance task.
PA reduced the brain ChE activity in rats. PA also exhibited a remarkable cholesterol and triglyceride lowering property and slight increase in glucose levels in the present study.
: Because diminished cholinergic transmission and increase in cholesterol levels appear to be responsible for the development of
amyloid plaques and dementia in Alzheimer patients, PA may prove to be a useful memory-restorative agent. It would be worthwhile to explore the potential
of this plant in the management of Alzheimer′s disease.