Introduction: Nootropic drugs or cognitive enhancers are pharmacological agents that improve cognitive function and memory by various mechanisms. Drugs like piracetam, modafinil and citicoline have been used as nootropic agents. Aim: To compare the relative efficacy of nootropics like piracetam, modafinil and citicoline on learning and memory in rats using the Morris water maze test. Materials and Methods: A total of 30 Wistar rats were used for the study. The animals were divided into five groups (n=6). The groups I to V received gum acacia orally, scopolamine 2 mg/kg intraperitoneally, piracetam (52.5 mg/kg), modafinil (2.5 mg/kg), citicoline (25 mg/kg) respectively orally for twenty days. Learning and memory was evaluated using the Morris water maze test. The animals were trained in the Morris water maze on the last five days of dosing. Scopolamine 2 mg/kg was administered intraperitoneally to the above groups of animals (except Groups I and II) for induction of amnesia, 45 minutes before the behavioural test. Results: Scopolamine induced marked impairment of memory evidenced by significant reduction (p<0.01) in the number of entries and time spent in the target quadrant when compared to the control group. There was significant (p<0.05) increase in the number of entries and time spent in target quadrant of the Morris water maze in the animals who were pretreated with piracetam, modafinil and citicoline, in comparison to the scopolamine treated group. Amongst the three nootropics, modafinil and citicoline showed significant (p<0.05) memory enhancement in comparison to piracetam. Conclusion: Modafinil and citicoline can significantly reverse the memory impairment in scopolamine induced amnesia model in comparison to piracetam. However, further studies are warranted to confirm this result.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry