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The high prevalence and disease burden of anxiety disorders against the paucity and liabilities of existing anxiolytics indicates a need for the discovery of additional/new anti-anxiety agents. However, it is necessary to further screen these new/putative anxiolytic compounds/extracts to rule out the unwanted neurobehavioural toxicities inherent in the existing anti-anxiety drugs. Aqueous methanol leaf extract of Tapinanthus globiferus growing on Azadirachta indica host tree has previously demonstrated significant (p<0.05) anxiolytic effects in mice. This study, therefore, set out to counter-screen this extract for locomotion-suppressant, acute amnesic, sedative (myorelaxant) and hypnotic effects using standard mouse behavioural and biochemical paradigms. The leaf extract (150, 500 and 1500 mg/kg) did not cause significant (p>0.05) alterations in spontaneous locomotor activity, motor coordination/balance, sleep onset or duration, but dose-dependent and significant (p<0.05) increases (63.28±5.63, 65.63±4.12 and 69.18±3.69) in novel object recognition indices of extract-treated compared to 51.54±4.03 and 61.06±2.91 scores in diazepam- and aqua-treated mice, respectively. These findings indicate the aqueous methanol leaf extract is mostly devoid of the evaluated neurobehavioural toxicities and may possess short-term memory enhancement property in mice. These findings may justify the traditional use of Tapinanthus globiferus extracts for memory enhancement.
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