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Effects of minimizing retroactive interference and acute benzodiazepine administration on episodic memory

Grant number: 16/22972-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Sabine Pompéia
Grantee:Isis Angelica Segura
Home Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Anterograde amnesia patients can learn new facts if encoding is followed by minimal retrograde interference (MRI: rest in a dark room). Understanding this phenomenon is crucial to improve learning of people with memory problems. However, the ideal research participants to this end, pure amnesics, are scarce. The purpose of this study is to assess whether the acute administration of an oral dose of a benzodiazepine to young adults is a suitable model of this pathology that allows the development of studies in this field. Participants will be 30 healthy university students (18-30 years old). The study will follow a double-blind, parallel-group design. Following a baseline assessment of immediate free-recall of stories followed by 15 minutes of either a retroactive interference task (RI: spot the difference between pictures) or MRI for 10 min (+ 5 min of spot the difference), participants will be randomly allocated to one of two oral treatments: placebo or diazepam (15 mg). After 60 min (theoretical peak-plasma concentration of diazepam), other stories will be presented followed by immediate recall with subsequent RI or MRI. The order of the story versions and RI/MRI will be balanced among conditions, sessions, groups and participants. At the end of the post-treatment session, participants will be asked for a delayed recall of stories followed by IR and MRI from both the baseline and post-treatment sessions. After 7 days, the decay of delayed recall of all stories will be assessed. If diazepam is an appropriate model of anterograde amnesia to investigate MRI effects, it should: a) not cause retrograde amnesia (preserve delayed recall of stories from the baseline session); b) cause higher anterograde amnesia after RI than MRI in the post-treatment session and after 7 days. (AU)