Effect of Folate Deficiency and Folate and B12 Excess on Memory Functioning in Young Chicks Academic Article uri icon


  • The results of this series of experiments with chicks trained on a single trial, passive avoidance task, demonstrate that methotrexate-induced folate deficiency, and excess levels of folate and B12 lead to amnesia in these subjects. The amnesia appears only after 50 min following learning, leaving the earlier processing stages of memory formation unaffected. The application of methotrexate resulted in disruption of righting reflex in a dose dependent manner, however the ataxia did not appear to be the cause of the memory deficit. The deficit in memory induced by methotrexate-induced folate deficiency could be ameliorated with methionine. These studies suggest that cellular processes involving folate metabolism may play an important role in the memory formation of the young chick and that the observed disruption of memory may well occur due to its affect on protein synthesis mediated by alterations in methionine metabolism.

publication date

  • February 1997