Memory Enhancing Effect of Mirtazapine with Ascorbic acid on Scopolamine Induced Amnesia in Rats

  • Mamta Farswan Singh
  • Vinod Singh
  • Veer maram
  • Shalini Rawal
  • Himani Bajaj
  • Anupam Bisht
Keywords: Antioxidants, Ascorbic acid, Memory, Mirtazapine, Scopolamine, Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances.


Mirtazapine is an antidepressant with prominent effect on serotonergic and adrenergic
transmission in brain. Ascorbic acid has been suggested as antioxidant that may protect neurons
from oxidative stress. The present study is aimed to evaluate the memory enhancing effect of
combination of mirtazapine and ascorbic acid in amnesic rats using several behavioral and
memory tests. Amnesia was induced by scopolamine (1 mg/kg) administered i.p daily for seven
days. Mirtazapine (20 mg/kg, p.o.) and ascorbic acid (40 mg/kg, p.o.) combination was given to
the amnesic rats for a period of 7 days. The drugs were administered 30 min. before the test. The
morris water maze apparatus, elevated plus maze apparatus and open field tests were used to
evaluate the cognitive functions of the rats. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS),
which are the indicators of lipid peroxidation and the activities of anti-oxidative enzymes were
measured in the rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Chronic administration of combination
of mirtazapine and ascorbic acid caused significant reduction in escape latency using Morris
water apparatus, transfer latency using elevated plus maze and improvement in locomotor
activity indicating the improvement of cognition and locomotion. The combination of
mirtazapine and ascorbic acid also caused increase in the level of antioxidant enzymes and
decrease in the level of TBARS in amnesic rats indicating decrease in oxidative stress induced
damage in the brain of amnesic rats. The present study concluded that combination of
mirtazapine along with ascorbic acid has a distinct memory improving activity or a memory
restoring effect after scopolamine treatment.