Purple rice berry is neuroprotective and enhances cognition in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive memory loss and cognitive impairment, is the most common type of dementia in aging populations due to severe loss of cholinergic neurons in a specific area. Oxidative stress is known to be involved in the pathogenesis of this condition. Therefore, the cognition-enhancing and neuroprotective effects of rice berry (Oryza sativa), a purple-pigmented rice that is rich in antioxidant substances, was evaluated. Young adult male Wistar rats, weighing 180-220 g, were orally given rice berry once daily at doses of 180, 360, and 720 mg/kg of body weight for a period of 2 weeks before and 1 week after the induction of memory deficit and cholinergic lesions with AF64A, a specific cholinotoxin, via bilateral intracerebroventricular administration. One week following AF64A administration the rats were evaluated for spatial memory, neuron density, acetylcholinesterase activity, and hippocampal lipid peroxidation products. Our results showed that rice berry could significantly prevent memory impairment and hippocampal neurodegeneration in hippocampus. Moreover, it also decreased hippocampal acetylcholinesterase activity and lipid peroxidation product formation. These results suggest that rice berry has potential as an effective agent for neurodegeneration and memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease.