Cholinergic basis of memory-strengthening effect of Foeniculum vulgare Linn

J Med Food. 2006 Fall;9(3):413-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2006.9.413.


Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with a decline in cognitive abilities. Dementia is one of the age-related mental problems and a characteristic symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Nootropic agents are used in situations where there is organic disorder in learning abilities. The present work was undertaken to assess the potential of Foeniculum vulgare Linn. extract as a nootropic and anticholinesterase agent in mice. Methanolic extract of the whole plant of F. vulgare Linn. administered for eight successive days ameliorated the amnesic effect of scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg) and aging- induced memory deficits in mice. The passive avoidance paradigm served as the exteroceptive behavioral model for assessing memory. F. vulgare extract increased step-down latency and acetylcholinesterase inhibition in mice significantly. Hence, F. vulgare can be employed in treatment of cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / physiology*
  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Aging
  • Amnesia / chemically induced
  • Amnesia / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Foeniculum / chemistry*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory Disorders / drug therapy
  • Methanol
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Scopolamine


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scopolamine
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Acetylcholine
  • Methanol