Repeated administration of almonds increases brain acetylcholine levels and enhances memory function in healthy rats while attenuates memory deficits in animal model of amnesia

Brain Res Bull. 2016 Jan:120:63-74. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2015.11.001. Epub 2015 Nov 5.


Dietary nutrients may play a vital role in protecting the brain from age-related memory dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. Tree nuts including almonds have shown potential to combat age-associated brain dysfunction. These nuts are an important source of essential nutrients, such as tocopherol, folate, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and polyphenols. These components have shown promise as possible dietary supplements to prevent or delay the onset of age-associated cognitive dysfunction. This study investigated possible protective potential of almond against scopolamine induced amnesia in rats. The present study also investigated a role of acetylcholine in almond induced memory enhancement. Rats in test group were orally administrated with almond suspension (400 mg/kg/day) for four weeks. Both control and almond-treated rats were then divided into saline and scopolamine injected groups. Rats in the scopolamine group were injected with scopolamine (0.5 mg/kg) five minutes before the start of each memory test. Memory was assessed by elevated plus maze (EPM), Morris water maze (MWM) and novel object recognition (NOR) task. Cholinergic function was determined in terms of hippocampal and frontal cortical acetylcholine content and acetylcholinesterase activity. Results of the present study suggest that almond administration for 28 days significantly improved memory retention. This memory enhancing effect of almond was also observed in scopolamine induced amnesia model. Present study also suggests a role of acetylcholine in the attenuation of scopolamine induced amnesia by almond.

Keywords: Acetylcholine; Acetylcholinesterase; Almond; Memory; Scopolamine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism
  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Maze Learning
  • Memory Disorders / diet therapy*
  • Memory Disorders / metabolism
  • Prunus dulcis*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Scopolamine
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Scopolamine
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Acetylcholine