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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Methylphenidate enhances acquisition and retention of spatial memory.

  • Author(s): Carmack, Stephanie A
  • Block, Carina L
  • Howell, Kristin K
  • Anagnostaras, Stephan G
  • et al.

Psychostimulants containing methylphenidate (MPH) are increasingly being used both on and off-label to enhance learning and memory. Still, almost no studies have investigated MPH's ability to specifically improve spatial or long-term memory. Here we examined the effect of training with 1 or 10mg/kg MPH on hidden platform learning in the Morris water maze. 10mg/kg MPH improved memory acquisition and retention, while 1mg/kg MPH improved memory retention. Taken together with prior evidence that low, clinically relevant, doses of MPH (0.01-1mg/kg MPH) enhance fear memory we conclude that MPH broadly enhances memory.

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