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ERIC Number: EJ1103154
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jun
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
Late Enrichment Maintains Accurate Recent and Remote Spatial Memory Only in Aged Rats That Were Unimpaired When Middle Aged
Fuchs, Fanny; Herbeaux, Karine; Aufrere, Noémie; Kelche, Christian; Mathis, Chantal; Barbelivien, Alexandra; Majchrzak, Monique
Learning & Memory, v23 n6 p303-312 Jun 2016
Exposure of rodents to a stimulating environment has beneficial effects on some cognitive functions that are impaired during physiological aging, and especially spatial reference memory. The present study investigated whether environmental enrichment rescues these functions in already declining subjects and/or protects them from subsequent decline. Subgroups of 17-mo-old female rats with unimpaired versus impaired performance in a spatial reference memory task (Morris water maze) were housed until the age of 24 mo in standard or enriched environment. They were then trained in a second reference memory task, conducted in a different room than the first, and recent (1 d) and remote (10 d) memory were assessed. In unimpaired subgroups, spatial memory declined from 17 to 24 mo in rats housed in standard conditions; an enriched environment during this period allowed maintenance of accurate recent and remote spatial memory. At 24 mo, rats impaired at the age of 17 mo housed in enriched environment learned the task and displayed substantial recent memory, but their performance remained lower than that of unimpaired rats, showing that enrichment failed to rescue spatial memory in already cognitively declining rats. Controls indicated carryover effects of the first water maze training, especially in aged rats housed in standard condition, and confirmed the beneficial effect of enrichment on remote memory of aged rats even if they performed poorly than young adults housed for the same duration in standard or enriched condition.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A