A Systematic Review of the Dietary Choline Impact on Cognition from a Psychobiological Approach: Insights from Animal Studies.

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The influence of dietary choline availability on cognition is currently being suggested by animal and human studies which have focused mainly on the early developmental stages. The aim of this review is to systematically search through the available rodent (rats and mice) research published during the last two decades that has assessed the effect of dietary choline interventions on cognition and related attentional and emotional processes for the entire life span. The review has been conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement guidelines covering peer-reviewed studies included in PubMed and Scopus databases. After excluding duplicates and applying the inclusion/exclusion criteria we have reviewed a total of 44 articles published in 25 journals with the contribution of 146 authors. The results are analyzed based on the timing and duration of the dietary intervention and the behavioral tests applied, amongst other variables. Overall, the available results provide compelling support for the relevance of dietary choline in cognition. The beneficial effects of choline supplementation is more evident in recognition rather than in spatial memory tasks when assessing nonpathological samples whilst these effects extend to other relational memory tasks in neuropathological models. However, the limited number of studies that have evaluated other cognitive functions suggest a wider range of potential effects. More research is needed to draw conclusions about the critical variables and the nature of the impact on specific cognitive processes. The results are discussed on the terms of the theoretical framework underlying the relationship between the brain systems and cognition.
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anxiety, attention, behavior, choline deprivation, choline supplementation, emotion, learning, memory, rodent