Improvement of memory recall by quercetin in rodent contextual fear conditioning and human early-stage Alzheimer's disease patients

Neuroreport. 2016 Jun 15;27(9):671-6. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000594.


Patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) experience a wide array of cognitive deficits, which typically include the impairment of explicit memory. In previous studies, the authors reported that a flavonoid, quercetin, reduces the expression of ATF4 and delays memory deterioration in an early-stage AD mouse model. In the present study, the effects of long-term quercetin intake on memory recall were assessed using contextual fear conditioning in aged wild-type mice. In addition, the present study examined whether memory recall was affected by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (a new cultivar of hybrid onion 'Quergold') powder in early-stage AD patients. In-vivo analysis indicated that memory recall was enhanced in aged mice fed a quercetin-containing diet. Memory recall in early-stage AD patients, determined using the Revised Hasegawa Dementia Scale, was significantly improved by the intake of quercetin-rich onion (Quergold) powder for 4 weeks compared with the intake of control onion ('Mashiro' white onion) powder. These results indicate that quercetin might influence memory recall.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Benzothiazoles / pharmacokinetics
  • Conditioning, Psychological / drug effects*
  • Fear / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iofetamine / pharmacokinetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Memory Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Mental Recall / drug effects
  • Mental Status and Dementia Tests
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Quercetin / therapeutic use*
  • Thiazoles


  • 2-(4'-(methylamino)phenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Antioxidants
  • Benzothiazoles
  • Thiazoles
  • Quercetin
  • Iofetamine