Menopause is characterized by a decrease estrogen level, which hampers the quality of life due to symptoms like osteoporosis, hot flushes, various levels of dementia, depression and anxiety. In this modern era, with increasing life expectancy, women are spending one-third of their life with menopause related disorders. It has been shown that, estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) could be protective against the menopause induced cognitive decline. However, ERT is also known to increase the incidence of uterine and breast cancer and other side effects. Thus, ERT has limited clinical use. Alternatively, fenugreek seeds (which are rich in phytoestrogens) may be the alternative strategy to treat the above mentioned menopause induced deficits. This study was designed to evaluate the role of fenugreek seed extract on menopause induced impaired memory and hippocampal damage using ovariectomized rat model. Female Wistar rats were divided into groups (n =6)—(1) control, (2) ovariectomized and (3) ovariectomized rats treated with hydro-alcoholic extract of fenugreek seeds for 21 days. After treatment period, the memory and learning was analyzed by passive avoidance test and alteration in the histology of the hippocampal neurons were analyzed by cresyl violet staining technique. Ovariectomized rats showed decreased ability in memory and learning and showed neuronal shrinkage and death in the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 region. Treating these ovariectomized rats with fenugreek seed extract significantly improved the memory and learning and also protected the hippocampal neuronal architecture and survival. Therefore, the result of the present study may be attributed to the phytoestrogens in the fenugreek seeds and it may be a therapeutic agent for treating the menopause induced neurocognitive deficit. However, further study is warranted to understand the exact cellular and molecular mechanism involved in fenugreek mediated health benefits.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Computer Science(all)
- Environmental Science(all)