Antiamnesic Effects of Walnuts Consumption on Scopolamine-Induced Memory Impairments in Rats

Shaahin Harandi, Leila Golchin, Mehdi Ansari, Alireza Moradi, Mohammad Shabani, Vahid Sheibani
Basic and Clinical Neuroscience 2015, 6 (2): 91-9

INTRODUCTION: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease, which impairs memory and cognitive function. Walnuts are a dietary source of polyphenols, antioxidants and other compounds with health beneficial effects. These characteristic of walnuts make them perfect candidates for evaluation of their possible effects on neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore the present study was designed to investigate the effects of walnuts consumption (2%, 6% and 9% walnut diets) on memory enhancement and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity of brain in scopolamine-induced amnesic rats.

METHODS: Learning, memory and locomotor activity parameters were evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM), passive avoidance and rotarod tests.

RESULTS: Our results showed that consumption of walnuts at doses of 6% and 9% significantly restored the scopolamine-induced memory impairments in the MWM and passive avoidance tests. Moreover, the potential of walnuts to prevent scopolamine neurotoxicity was also reflected by the decreased AChE activity in the whole brain in comparison with the scopolamine group.

DISCUSSION: These results suggest that walnuts may be useful against memory impairment and it may exert these anti-amnesic activities via inhibition of AChE activity in the brain. It would be worthwhile to explore the potential of this nut and its active components in the management of the AD.

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