Poster (15W224)

Impaired contextual fear extinction and novel object recognition memory in a chronic psychosocial stress mouse model of brain-gut axis dysfunction


Kennedy PJ1,2, O’Mahony C1,2, Clarke G1,2, Dinan TG1,2, Cryan JF1,3


1APC Microbiome Institute; 2Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Science; 3Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience; University College Cork, Cork, Ireland


Recently, patients with IBS were found to exhibit visuospatial memory deficits(1). However, a prospective assessment is essential to confirm if cognitive dysfunction is a stable feature of IBS.


In this study we aimed to prospectively assess visuospatial memory performance in IBS, in comparison to disease controls [Crohn’s diesase (CD] and healthy controls (HC).


At baseline (Visit 1) and 6 months (Visit 2), IBS patients (baseline n=39; age (M): 28 yrs), matched CD patients (baseline n=18;age (M):32 yrs), and matched HC (baseline n=40;age (M):28 yrs), were assessed using a selection of cognitive tests from the CANTAB and Stroop test. Abdominal pain severity at time of testing was reported by IBS patients on a scale ranging from 0-100.


At Visit 1 & 2,IBS patients displayed visuospatial memory deficits [Paired Associates Learning (PAL) test]; greater errors at the 6 pattern stage (baseline: p< 0.05), which also approached significance across Visit 1 & 2 (p=0.05); greater number of trials needed to complete the PAL [Visit 1 & 2 (p<0.05)]. Pain severity did not correlate with PAL performance (p>0.05).


Visuospatial memory dysfunction is a stable feature of IBS. These results may inform future management of this debilitating disorder in which there is a great unmet medical need.