Abstract The effects of the repeated administration of Uncaria hooks were examined on the impaired memory acquisition and the level of neurotransmitters in the cortex, hippocampus and striatum in ethanol-treated mice, in comparison with those with l-deprenyl and N-methyl- d-glucamine as positive controls. Ethanol-induced amnesia was significantly ameliorated by repeated administration of methanol extract and alkaloid fraction of Uncaria hooks, similar to in the positive controls. Treatment with methanol extract and alkaloid fraction of Uncaria hooks significantly reduced the ethanol-induced increase of dopamine in the hippocampus. The 5-hydroxytryptamine and glutamic acid neuronal activities were significantly changed by Uncaria hooks, but not by l-deprenyl, in all examined brain tissues of ethanol-treated mice. On the other hand, the GABAergic and cholinergic neuronal activities did not show any significant changes by Uncaria hooks in any of the examined brain tissues of the ethanol-treated animals. The results suggest that the extracts of Uncaria hooks exert a beneficial effect on ethanol-induced memory impairment, and that the central 5-hydroxytryptaminergic and glutaminergic neuronal systems play an important role in the memory acquisition of Uncaria hooks.