Memory impairment induced by intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of streptozotocin (STZ) in rats is associated with impaired brain glucose and energy metabolism, oxidative stress and impaired cholinergic neurotransmission. Treatment with antioxidants and cholinergic agonists has been reported to produce beneficial effect in this model. However, no reports are available on drugs that improve glucose utilization and metabolism. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of pioglitazone on cognitive performance, oxidative stress and glucose utilization in ICV STZ injected rats (3 mg/kg, on day 1 and 3). Pioglitazone (10 and 30 mg/kg) was administered per oral (p.o.) for 14 days, starting 5 days prior to STZ injection. Cognitive performance was assessed using step-through passive avoidance and Morris water maze task. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione levels in brain were estimated as parameters of oxidative stress. Glucose utilization by brain was assessed as the amount of glucose consumed from the media by the brain. ICV STZ injected rats showed a severe deficit in learning and memory associated with increased MDA levels (+67.5%), decreased glutathione levels (-29.2%) and impaired cerebral glucose utilization (-44.4%). In contrast pioglitazone treatment improved cognitive performance, lowered oxidative stress and improved cerebral glucose utilization in ICV STZ rats. The present study demonstrates the beneficial effects of pioglitazone in the ICV STZ induced cognitive deficits, which can be exploited for the dementia associated with diabetes and age-related neurodegenerative disorder, where oxidative stress and impaired glucose and energy metabolism are involved.