Memantine facilitates memory consolidation and reconsolidation in the day-old chick Academic Article uri icon


  • Memantine is a non-competitive N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist that has been approved for the treatment of the cognitive deficits noted in Alzheimer's disease. While there is a body of research that supports memantine's facilitative action upon memory compromise, this series of studies aimed to investigate the effects of this drug in healthy animals with intact memory functioning. A 0.1 mM dose of memantine injected immediately after a weakly aversive training event (i.e. 20% v/v methyl anthranilate) was found to enhance passive avoidance learning for this event in day-old chicks up to 24 h following training. The same dose of memantine was also observed to enhance memory for the training event when it was administered in conjunction with a reminder trial. These results suggest that memantine is capable of facilitating both memory consolidation as well as memory reconsolidation. It was concluded that memantine's mechanism may involve the short-term or intermediate memory phases of the Gibbs and Ng model of memory, and that the current findings represent enhancement of intact memory, rather than amelioration of memory compromise.

publication date

  • May 2012