Electrical Stimulation of the Septal Region of Aged Rats Improves Performance in an Open-Field Maze
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Memory deficits of age and disease may result from dysfunction of septohippocampal structures. Electrical brain stimulation might ameliorate these memory deficits. We show here that septal stimulation of very old rats leads to a marked and progressive improvement in performance in an open-field maze task. Unilateral stimulation of the perforant path is less effective. The frequency of stimulation is important: stimulation at 5 Hz and 50 Hz is effective, whereas stimulation at 0.5 Hz is less effective (though still significantly better than control). Hippocampal (dentate) EEG does not change significantly with septal stimulation frequency. These results may bear on the memory deficit of old age in humans. The results may also bear on the memory deficits seen in human disease states such as Alzheimer's disease.
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