2007 年 53 巻 4 号 p. 382-388
Dementia is a brain disorder that seriously affects a person's ability to carry out daily activities. The most common form of dementia among older people is Alzheimer's disease (AD), which initially involves the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language, ending with severe brain damage. Nootropic agents like, piracetam, and cholinesterase inhibitors like, donepezil are commonly used for improving memory, mood and behavior but their adverse effects have made their use limited and it is worthwhile to explore the utility of traditional medicines in the treatment of various cognitive disorders. Argyreia speciosa (AS) commonly known as Vridha daraka is widely used in ayurveda for the treatment of neurological disorders. The present work was undertaken to assess the potential of AS as a nootropic and anti-cholinesterase agent in mice. Effectiveness of aqueous extract of AS on ageing, scopolamine and diazepam induced memory deficits in mice was evaluated. Elevated plus maze and passive avoidance paradigm were employed to assess short-term and long term memory. In order to delineate the possible mechanism through which AS elicits the anti-amnesic effects, the whole brain acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) activity, was also assessed. Two doses (100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) of aqueous extract of AS were administered orally for 6 successive days to both young and aged mice. AS decreased transfer latencies and increased step down latencies in both young and aged mice AS (100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) successfully reversed amnesia induced by diazepam, scopolamine and natural ageing. AS significantly decreased AChE levels in the whole brain homogenate indicating its potential in the attenuation of learning and memory deficits especially in the aged mice.