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Age effect on olfactory discrimination in a non-human primate, Microcebus murinus.

Abstract : In order to characterize age-related cognitive changes, olfactory discrimination was assessed in Microcebus murinus, a prosimian primate. We compared young (n = 10) and old (n = 8) animals for individual performance on three olfactory tasks. Animals had to perform a detection, a transfer, and a reversal learning task using a go, no go conditioning procedure. No differences were observed between the two groups, indicating that aging is not inevitably associated with a decline in cognitive function. We did, however, observe two aged animals showing altered behavior. One animal displayed impairments in the reversal learning task, and the other showed impairments in both the transfer and reversal tasks. Transfer impairment may be due to a hippocampal alteration, whereas the perseverative tendency noted in the reversal task may be associated with frontal lobe dysfunction. Because some aged M. murinus display lesions that are pathognomonic of Alzheimer's disease, our observations highlight its potential utility as a primate model for studying cognitive deficits in relation to age and associated pathologies.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - 11:50:22 AM
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Marine Joly, Bertrand Deputte, Jean-Michel Verdier. Age effect on olfactory discrimination in a non-human primate, Microcebus murinus.. Neurobiology of Aging, Elsevier, 2006, 27 (7), pp.1045-9. ⟨10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.05.001⟩. ⟨inserm-00143308⟩



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