Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 133  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 471-478

Involvement of nitric oxide in learning & memory processes

Department of Pharmacology & Environmental Toxicology, Dr A.L.M. Postgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Vanaja Paul
F-1, Varalakshmi Castle, 3, Akbarabad II Street, Kodambakkam, Chennai 600 024
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21623030

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Nitric oxide (NO), synthesized from the amino acid, L-arginine by nitric oxide synthase (NOS) has received attention as a neurotransmitter in the brain. NO has been found to induce cognitive behaviour in experimental animals. In order to show evidence for the involvement of NO in learning and memory processes, the reports indicating the effects of its precursor, donors, and inhibitors of its synthesis in mammals, birds, fishes and invertebrates have been reviewed. Further, learning and memory impairment occurring in man and animals due to defective NO activity in the brain due to pathological conditions such as epilepsy, stress, diabetes and side effects of therapeutic agents and reversal of this condition by L-arginine and NO donors have been included. In addition, the reports that indicate ageing-induced impairment of cognition that is known to occur in Alzheimer's disease due to deposition of the toxic protein, beta amyloid and the effect of L-arginine and NO donors in preventing dementia in these patients have been reviewed.

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