Date of Award

8-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Hoane, Michael

Abstract

The goal of this study was to investigate the therapeutic potential of memantine on functional recovery following a cortical contusion impact (CCI) traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a rodent model. A unilateral parietal injury was induced and compared to open sham surgeries under controlled experimental conditions. Animals were randomly assigned to a sham group, vehicle-treated injured group, or memantine-treated injured group. Dosage regimens were designed to provide serum concentrations in the range obtained with clinically approved doses, using both a low (5 mg/kg) and high (20 mg/kg) dose for 48 h. Functional recovery was assessed using five behavioral assessments, as well as neuropathological measurements. Motor function was observed using the locomotor placing task, the rotor-rod procedure, and a photobeam activity monitoring system. Cognitive function as learning ability was assessed through the Morris Water Maze and a passive avoidance assessment. Memantine did not improve motor or cognitive function in any of the behavioral assessments. These results indicate that while memantine may provide benefits at a neurobiological level, its therapeutic potential on the recovery of behavioral function following TBI is severely limited.

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