Therapeutic potential of curcumin in reversing the depression and associated pseudodementia via modulating stress hormone, hippocampal neurotransmitters, and BDNF levels in Rats

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Depressive state adversely affects the memory functions, especially in the geriatric population. The initial stage of memory deficits associated with depression is particularly called as pseudodementia. It is the starting point of memory disturbance before dementia. The purpose of this research was to study depression and its consequent pseudodementia. For this purpose 24 male albino Wistar rats were divided into four groups. Depression was induced by 14 days of chronic restraint stress (CRS) daily for 4 h. After developing a depression model, pattern separation test was conducted to monitor pseudodementia in rats. Morris water maze test (MWM) was also performed to observe spatial memory. It was observed that model animals displayed impaired pattern separation and spatial memory. Treatment was started after the development of pseudodementia in rats. Curcumin at a dose of 200 mg/kg was given to model rats for one week along with the stress procedure. Following the treatment with curcumin, rats were again subjected to the aforementioned behavioral tests before decapitation. Corticosterone levels, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurochemical analysis were conducted. Model rats showed depressogenic behavior and impaired memory performance. In addition to this, high corticosterone levels and decreased hippocampal BDNF, 5-HT, dopamine (DA), and acetylcholine (ACh) levels were also observed in depressed animals. These behavioral biochemical and neurochemical changes were effectively restored following treatment with curcumin. Hence, it is suggested from this study that pseudodementia can be reversed unlike true dementia by controlling the factors such as depression which induce memory impairment.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Neurochemical Research