Assessment of Curcuma longa linn. on learning and memory in rats

K. Lohit, Naveen Anthony, Amruta A. Pandit, Jesso George, Maria Jose, Mangala Rao, Denis Xavier


Background: There is an increase in elderly population and memory-related disorders. Curcuma longa linn. can induce cognitive improvement due to its antioxidant effects. This study evaluated the effect of chronic administration of C. longa linn. on learning and memory in rats.

Methods: Twenty four female Albino Wistar rats were randomized into control, standard, and test groups. The control group received 0.5% methyl cellulose; the standard group received piracetam and test group received C. longa orally for 24 days. Water maze and step-through passive avoidance test were used to evaluate the effect of C. longa linn. on learning and memory. Water maze training was done from day 23 to day 26. Assessment of spatial memory was done on day 27 and retention memory on day 29.

Results: The mean escape latency (EL) in control, standard, and test group was 42.48, 30.45, and 30.88 sec on day 23 which decreased to 11.08, 11.36, and 9.66 sec on day 26, respectively. The EL in all the three groups decreased from day 23 to day 26 (p<0.01). The time spent in the target quadrant was more in the test group (21.25 sec) compared to control (19.73 sec) and standard group (19.79 sec) (p=0.768). In passive avoidance test, test group showed a trend toward improvement in retention memory (p=0.293).

Conclusion: C. longa linn. may be useful in enhancing learning. Further dose ranging preclinical studies are required to evaluate the efficacy of curcumin on memory.


Curcuma longa, Spatial memory, Step-through passive avoidance, Water maze

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