Effect of vitamin E on learning and memory deficit in aged rats

Hirokatsu Takatsu, Kei Owada, Kouichi Abe, Masahiro Nakano, Shiro Urano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


In order to verify whether vitamin E improves the cognitive impairment induced through aging, aged rats fed a vitamin E-supplemented diet had their learning and memory functions assessed in comparison with the aged rats fed a normal diet using a Morris water maze test. Although normal aged rats showed very poor learning ability concerning the place of a platform in the water maze apparatus, the aged rats fed the vitamin E-supplemented diet learned the place with a marked speed in only 5 trials. After old animals showed the maximum learning ability, they were kept in a normal atmosphere for 48 h without a trial followed by an assessment of their memory function using the same apparatus. The vitamin E-supplementation to aged rats resulted in marked retention of their maximum memory function, although normal aged rats showed a significant memory loss of about 60%. Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), which increases in the production of nerve growth factor, and protects neurons, had a similar effect on cognitive function to that of vitamin E in the aged rats. These results suggest that vitamin E may improve cognitive deficit caused through aging by not only its neuro-protecting effect but an antioxidant efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Aged rat
  • Cognitive deficit
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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