Acetyl-L-Carnitine: chronic treatment improves spatial
acquisition in a new environment in aged rats

Caprioli A, Markowska AL, Olton DS.
Institute for Research on Senescence,
Sigma Tau, Rome, Italy.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 1995 Jul;50(4):B232-36


Chronic Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) treatment prevents some age-related memory impairment. The present experiment examined the effects of aging and ALCAR in Fischer 344 rats on retention of spatial discrimination test in a familiar environment (FE), and on the acquisition of a spatial discrimination in a novel environment (NE). Rats 18 months or 3 months old were trained with a new procedure to assess spatial discrimination in the Morris water maze. Performance during acquisition in FE was used to assign each old rat to one of two classes: Good Performers (GP) and Poor Performers (PP) based on their swim time to reach the platform. The old rats displayed heterogeneous performance and a spatial discrimination deficit. Chronic ALCAR treatment enhanced spatial acquisition in the NE of rats with age-related behavioral impairments and had a slight effect on retention of the spatial discrimination in the FE.
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