Choline has been identified as one of the essential nutrients of the human body. Choline has served many different functions to the human body. Choline is also said to have an effect to the memory performance. In this paper, the researcher investigates the effect of choline in rats’ memory performance. The research also investigates the effects of choline in rats with age impairment. The researcher collects a total of 64 rats sample in order to conduct an experiment. From the 64 sample, 32 are age impaired and 32 are non-age impaired. The rats are further grouped to non-choline and choline administered rats. The performances of the different groups are determined using Morris maze experiment. A 2 x 2 factorial analysis of variance was conducted in order to determine significant effects of choline. After conducting the test, the researcher found out that choline has a significant effect to the memory performance of rats [F (1,28) = 12.00, p < .01]. On the other hand, the researcher found out that age impairment [F (1,28) = 0.015, p > .05] and the interaction between age impairment and choline administration [F (1,28) = 0.075, p > .05] do not have a significant effect to the memory performance of rats.
A 2 x 2 (Choline x Age) factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted for the dependent measure, escape latency. The results showed a significant main effect of Choline [F (1,28) = 12.00, p < .01]. However, the results also showed insignificant main effect of Age [F (1,28) = 0.015, p > .05] and an insignificant Choline x Age interaction [F (1,28) = 0.075, p > .05].
As seen in figure 1, rats that are choline administered successfully finished the maze in a significantly faster time than rats that are non-choline administered. On the other hand, one can see that the latency of both age and non-age impaired rats does not differ significantly in choline and non-choline administered states.
The results showed evidence to support that there is a significant difference in the latency of rats in finishing the race between non-choline and choline administered rats. While the effects of choline have been found to be significant to rats, the researcher however failed to find evidences to show that there is a significant difference in latency between age and non-age impaired rats. Based from the literature review, choline has been proven important in different periods of cognitive development (Suckow, et al., 2006). Choline, when given to non-age and age impaired rats give the same result of decreased time in finishing the maze.
The researcher found a number of limitations regarding the study. First limitation observed from the study is the use of male rats for the experiment. Although the researcher wanted to eliminate the effects of gender on task performance, the researcher created another problem, which is gender bias. Another limitation obtained from the study is the amount of choline used for the experiment. The amount of choline administered to patients amount to 0.4% (Rivera et al, 1998). Although the amount has already given a significant effect, the researcher may have obtained a more significant effect when the amount of choline administered was increased to a certain level.
Several suggestions for further research are obtained by the researcher. First, the researcher suggested that one should also look for the possible effects of choline across gender of rats. The suggestion is created in order to avoid gender bias and to study the effects of choline in the task performance gender wise. Another suggestion of the researcher is to study the effects of increased amount of choline to a rat’s memory. The effects of increased amount of choline administered to a rat may have an increased effect to the task performance of rats.
In conclusion, both the results and the literature have given evidence to say that choline has a significant effect to the memory performance of the rats. However, age impairment and the interaction between age impairment and choline administration do not seem to have an effect to the memory performance of the rats.