Effect of Short-Term Alpha Lipoic Acid Supplementation on Age Related Cognitive and Motor Deficits




Shetty, Ritu A.


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Ritu A. Shetty. Effect of short-term antioxidant supplementation on age related cognitive and motor deficits. Master of Science (Biomedical Sciences), August, 2001, 24 pp, 2 tables, 11 figures, 30 references. During aging there is an increase in oxidative damage and loss of brain function that may reflect and increased level of oxidative stress. Studies have suggested that the increased oxidative damage in old rodents can be reversed, relatively rapidly, by experimental interventions like caloric restrictions and antioxidants capable of lowering oxidative stress (Forster et.al., Joseph et.al., 1995). Based on those findings, it was hypothesized that age-related declines in cognitive and/or psychomotor function are the result of molecular damage associated with oxidative stress. The current study addressed the possibility a decreasing oxidative damage could be produced with the antioxidant alpha lipoic acid, in aged mice, leading to a reversal of age-related impairments of psychomotor and cognitive functions. C57BL/6 mice aged 6 or 23 months were gavaged daily with 100mg/kg alpha-lipoic acid or the vehicle (0.9% saline; 2% methylcellulose). After 3 weeks of treatment, the animals were subjected to a battery of behavioral tests for motor and cognitive functions. Following the behavioral tests the animals were sacrificed brains were dissected and frozen for analysis of carbonyl concentration. The results showed significant age-related deficits in spatial learning, accuracy for spatial memory, recent memory, and psychomotor performance. None of these age-related deficits was reversed following the treatment with alpha lipoic acid. There was no reduction in carbonyl concentration with alpha lipoic acid supplementation. Thus we concluded that alpha lipoic acid supplementation had neither beneficial nor detrimental effects in reducing oxidative damage in brain or in reversal the age-related decline in function.