Ethnopharmacological relevance: Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst., a plant belonging to the family Scrophulariaceae, has been used in the traditional system of Ayurvedic medicine to improve intelligence and memory for a long time. Therefore, the potential of this plant to protect against Alzheimer's disease has been raised but less supported document is available.
Aim of the study: To determine the effect of alcoholic extract of Bacopa monnieri on cognitive function and neurodegeneration in animal model of Alzheimer's disease induced by ethylcholine aziridinium ion (AF64A).
Materials and methods: Male Wistar rats were orally given the alcoholic extract of Bacopa monnieri at doses of 20, 40 and 80 mg/kg BW via feeding needle for a period of 2 weeks before and 1 week after the intracerebroventricular administration of AF64A bilaterally. Rats were tested for spatial memory using Morris water maze test and the density of neurons and cholinergic neurons was determined using histological techniques 7 days after AF64A administration.
Results: Bacopa monnieri extract improved the escape latency time (p<.01) in Morris water maze test. Moreover, the reduction of neurons and cholinergic neuron densities were also mitigated.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that Bacopa monnieri is a potential cognitive enhancer and neuroprotectant against Alzheimer's disease.
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