PMID: 36423Jul 1, 1979

Four stimulants of the central nervous system: effects on short-term memory in young versus aged monkeys

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
R T Bartus


Aged Rhesus monkeys and young control monkeys were tested in a delayed-response procedure to assess the effects of central-nervous-system (CNS) stimulants on short-term memory (STM). Previous research had established that the aged monkeys showed specific impairments of STM in this procedure. Four different CNS stimulants (methylphenidate, magnesium pemoline, a pentylenetetrazole/niacin mixture, and caffeine) were chosen for evaluation on the basis of their relevancy to current geriatric-psychopharmacologic research. Four different doses of each of the four CNS stimulants were given to each monkey, counter-balanced for possible order effects. Methylphenidate and caffeine impaired the performance of both age groups in this non-human primate cognitive task, even at relatively low dose levels. Magnesium pemoline produced fewer adverse effects and some evidence of improving STM in the aged monkeys, although not within the levels of statistical significance. The pentylenetetrazole/niacin mixture produced a three-way interaction involving age, dose and retention interval. This reflected the fact that although no definite effects were noted under the zero-sec control condition, statistically significant age-related deficits did occur i...Continue Reading


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