A recent study published in the medical journal
Brain Injury explored the use of Simvastatin and environmental enrichment on brain injury
patients and the outcomes of each treatment. The target group of the study
was patients with mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries that affected
their temporal order memory and spontaneous object recognition. Researchers
used male Wistar rats in the study, and compared the therapeutic effects
of both Simvastatin and environmental enrichment to see whether they improved
memory and recognition and, if so, by how much.

Here’s how they conducted the study:

  • The rats arrived at the research facility.
  • Seven days after their arrival, once they had time to acclimate to their
    new surroundings and develop memories, reseachers gave the rats either
    a real or fake brain injury through surgery.
  • Beginning 24 hours after the surgeries, the rats given the real surgery
    were divided into two groups. One group received Simvastatin, and one
    group received environmental enrichment therapy; each group received its
    designated treatment for two hours each day.
  • The rats that received the fake surgery received saline for 14 days after
    the procedure.
  • After the surgeries, the rats were sent into a Y-shaped maze.
  • Researchers measured the rats’ progress through the maze and gauged
    their temporal order memories and spontaneous object recognition abilities.
  • Researchers tested the rats seven times: once at 6 hours after the surgeries,
    then 24 hours after, then 48 hours, then 72 hours, and then 7 days, 14
    days, 21, and 35 days after the surgeries.

The researchers then compared the temporal order and spontaneous object
recognition between the group that received real surgery and the group
that had the fake surgery. They also compared the results between the
group that received Simvastatin and the group that received environmental
enrichment.

The study showed that the rats who received the real surgery had impaired
temporal order memories and spontaneous object recognition for up to 35
days after the surgery. Environmental enrichment improved the spontaneous
object recognition beginning seven days after the surgery. The Simvastatin
improved temporal object recognition beginning 14 days after the surgery.

The researchers concluded that both Simvistatin and environmental enrichment
are potentially good therapies; they might be able to help humans with
traumatic brain injuries who have spontaneous object recognition and temporal
order memory problems.