Exposure to an enriched environment up to middle age allows preservation of spatial memory capabilities in old age

Behavioural Brain Research
Fanny FuchsAlexandra Barbelivien


In rats, some cognitive capabilities, like spatial learning and memory, are preserved from age-related decline by whole adult life enriched environment (EE) exposure. However, to which extent late EE contributes to such maintenance remains to be investigated. Here we assessed the impact of late housing condition (e.g., from the age of 18 months) on spatial learning and memory of aged rats (24 months) previously exposed or unexposed to EE from young adulthood. The results showed that late EE was not required for spatial memory maintenance in aged rats previously housed in EE. In contrast, late EE mitigates spatial memory deficit in aged rats previously unexposed to EE. These outcomes suggest that EE exposure up to middle age provides a "reserve"-like advantage which supports an enduring preservation of spatial capabilities in old age.


May 26, 1999·Behavioural Brain Research·M SoffiéF Eclancher
Oct 4, 2000·Neurobiology of Aging·J M WyssT van Groen
Jan 30, 2004·Neurobiology of Aging·Barbara Shukitt-HaleJames A Joseph
Aug 21, 2007·Behavioural Brain Research·Lauren L HarburgerKaryn M Frick
Apr 29, 2009·Neurobiology of Aging·Hayat HaratiAlexandra Barbelivien
May 1, 2009·Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience·Hamid R MaeiPaul W Frankland
Jan 13, 2011·Current Alzheimer Research·A M Tucker, Y Stern
Sep 25, 2012·Nature Neuroscience·Sarah RuedigerPico Caroni

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