Young adult (60 day old) Wistar rats of either sex were orally intubated with 50 mg/kg body weight and 100 mg/kg body weight of aqueous root extract of Clitoria ternatea (CTR) for 30 days, along with age-matched saline controls. These rats were then subjected to passive avoidance tests and the results from these studies showed a significant increase in passive avoidance learning and retention. Subsequent to the passive avoidance tests, these rats were killed by decapitation. The amygdala was processed for Golgi staining and the stained neurons were traced using a camera lucida and analysed. The results showed a significant increase in dendritic intersections, branching points and dendritic processes arising from the soma of amygdaloid neurons in CTR treated rats especially in the 100 mg/kg group of rats, compared with age-matched saline controls. This improved dendritic arborization of amygdaloid neurons correlates with the increased passive avoidance learning and memory in the CTR treated rats as reported earlier. The results suggest that Clitoria ternatea aqueous root extract enhances memory by increasing the functional growth of neurons of the amygdala.
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