Protective role of functional food in cognitive deficit in young and senile rats.
Behav Pharmacol. 2020 Feb ;31(1):81-96. PMID: 31923036
Hanan Naeim Attia
Cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases pose a significant burden on healthcare resources both in developed and developing countries which is a major socio-economic and healthcare concern. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of progressive neurodegenerative dementia of the aged brain. Aluminum is a constituent of antacids, deodorants, kitchenware and food additives which allows easy access into the body posing risk to development of senile dementia of Alzheimer's type. Virgin coconut oil was declared as a potential cognitive strengthener. Assessment of cognitive and memory-enhancing effects of virgin coconut oil in senile and young rats to gain vital insights into its effective use in the prevention of neurodegeneration in dementia/Alzheimer's disease-like manifestations and alleviate cognitive dysfunction and learning impairment with neuronal damage imparted by daily oral intake of aluminum. Alzheimer's disease-like symptoms and memory impairment were experimentally induced using oral anhydrous aluminum chloride given daily for five successive weeks in young and old age albino rats. Treatment groups received virgin coconut oil to assess protection during the experimental period. Behavioral test, Morris water maze was conducted before/after induction/treatment. At the end of the experimental period, cholinergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic and serotonergic neurotransmission as well as brain-derived neurotrophic factor were being investigated, in addition to immunochemical and histopathological examination of targeted brain regions. Virgin coconut oil significantly improved cholinergic activity and monoaminergic neurotransmission. Moreover, immunochemical and histopathological examination revealed marked protection with virgin coconut oil against aluminum-induced Alzheimer's disease-like pathology and cognitive deficit.