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Behav Brain Res ; 381: 112352, 2020 Mar 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31722240


The radial arm maze (RAM) is a common behavioral test to assess spatial working and reference memory in mice. However, conventional RAM experiments require a substantial degree of manual handling and animals are usually subjected to prolonged periods of food or water deprivation to achieve sufficient learning motivation resulting in stress-induced confounding effects and unwanted intra- and inter-subject variation. In a proof-of-concept approach to improve reliability and repeatability of results by refining the conventional maze methodology, we developed a voluntary, fully automated 8-arm RAM and tested its feasibility and usability using both spatial working and combined working/reference memory paradigms in ten female C57BL/6J mice. We demonstrate that experimental procedures of up to 7 days duration could be conducted without any manual animal handling and that mice up to 18 months of age showed robust spatial learning performance without any food or water restrictions being applied. Therefore, a voluntary, automated 8-arm RAM can serve to minimize variation in experimental results by reducing an animal's distress, suffering, and pain, which, in turn, contributes to the comprehensive application of 3R principles.

Dtsch Arztebl Int ; 116(38): 627-634, 2019 Sep 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31617485


BACKGROUND: Illnesses that necessitate intensive care can impair cognitive function severely over the long term, leaving patients less able to cope with the demands of everyday living and markedly lowering their quality of life. There has not yet been any comprehensive study of the cognitive sequelae of critical illness among non- surgical patients treated in intensive care. The purpose of this review is to present the available study findings on cognitive deficits in such patients, with particular at- tention to prevalence, types of deficit, clinical course, risk factors, prevention, and treatment. METHODS: This review is based on pertinent publications retrieved by a selective search in MEDLINE. RESULTS: The literature search yielded 3360 hits, among which there were 14 studies that met our inclusion criteria. 17-78% of patients had cognitive deficits after dis- charge from the intensive care unit; most had never had a cognitive deficit before. Cognitive impairment often persisted for up to several years after discharge (0.5 to 9 years) and tended to improve over time. The only definite risk factor is delirium. CONCLUSION: Cognitive dysfunction is a common sequela of the treatment of non-surgical patients in intensive care units. It is a serious problem for the affected persons and an increasingly important socio-economic problem as well. The effective management of delirium is very important. General conclusions are hard to draw from the available data because of heterogeneous study designs, varying methods of measurement, and differences among patient cohorts. Further studies are needed so that study designs and clinical testing procedures can be standard- ized and effective measures for prevention and treatment can be identified.