, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 23–33 | Cite as

A complex dietary supplement augments spatial learning, brain mass, and mitochondrial electron transport chain activity in aging mice

  • Vadim Aksenov
  • Jiangang Long
  • Jiankang Liu
  • Henry Szechtman
  • Parul Khanna
  • Sarthak Matravadia
  • C. David Rollo


We developed a complex dietary supplement designed to offset five key mechanisms of aging and tested its effectiveness in ameliorating age-related cognitive decline using a visually cued Morris water maze test. All younger mice (<1 year old) learned the task well. However, older untreated mice (>1 year) were unable to learn the maze even after 5 days, indicative of strong cognitive decline at older ages. In contrast, no cognitive decline was evident in older supplemented mice, even when ∼2 years old. Supplemented older mice were nearly 50% better at locating the platform than age-matched controls. Brain weights of supplemented mice were significantly greater than controls, even at younger ages. Reversal of cognitive decline in activity of complexes III and IV by supplementation was significantly associated with cognitive improvement, implicating energy supply as one possible mechanism. These results represent proof of principle that complex dietary supplements can provide powerful benefits for cognitive function and brain aging.


Cognitive aging Learning Aging Dietary supplements Mitochondria Brain mass 



This research was supported by a grant to CDR from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. We thank Zoya Tov for her contributions to diet preparation and technical support for the experiments.


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Copyright information

© American Aging Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vadim Aksenov
    • 1
  • Jiangang Long
    • 2
  • Jiankang Liu
    • 2
  • Henry Szechtman
    • 3
  • Parul Khanna
    • 1
  • Sarthak Matravadia
    • 1
  • C. David Rollo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biology and Engineering, Institute of Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine, Key Laboratory of Biomedical Information Engineering of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and TechnologyXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural NeurosciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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