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Neuropsychiatric comorbidities are common in patients with epilepsy, remaining still an urgent unmet clinical need. Therefore, the management of epileptic disorders should not only be restricted to the achievement of seizure-freedom but must also be able to counteract its related comorbidities. Experimental animal models of epilepsy represent a valid tool not only to study epilepsy but also its associated comorbidities. The WAG/Rij rat is a well-established genetically-based model of absence epilepsy with depressive-like comorbidity, in which learning and memory impairment was also recently reported. Aim of this study was to clarify whether this cognitive decline is secondary or not to absence seizures and/or depressive-like behavior. The behavioral performance of untreated and ethosuximide-treated (300 mg/kg/day; 17 days) WAG/Rij rats at 6 and 12 months of age were assessed in several tests: forced swimming test, objects recognition test, social recognition test, Morris water maze and passive avoidance. According to our results, it seems that cognitive impairment in this strain, similarly to depressive-like behavior, is secondary to the occurrence of absence seizures, which might be necessary for the expression of cognitive impairment. Furthermore, our results suggest an age-dependent impairment of cognitive performance in WAG/Rij rats, which could be linked to the age-dependent increase of spike wave discharges. Consistently, it is possible that absence seizures, depressive-like behavior and cognitive deficit may arise independently and separately in lifetime from the same underlying network disease, as previously suggested for the behavioral features associated with other epileptic syndromes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry
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A childhood seizure disorder characterized by rhythmic electrical brain discharges of generalized onset. Clinical features include a sudden cessation of ongoing activity usually without loss of postural tone. Rhythmic blinking of the eyelids or lip smacking frequently accompanies the SEIZURES. The usual duration is 5-10 seconds, and multiple episodes may occur daily. Juvenile absence epilepsy is characterized by the juvenile onset of absence seizures and an increased incidence of myoclonus and tonic-clonic seizures. (Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p736)
A disorder characterized by the onset of myoclonus in adolescence, a marked increase in the incidence of absence seizures (see EPILEPSY, ABSENCE), and generalized major motor seizures (see EPILEPSY, TONIC-CLONIC). The myoclonic episodes tend to occur shortly after awakening. Seizures tend to be aggravated by sleep deprivation and alcohol consumption. Hereditary and sporadic forms have been identified. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p323)
An anticonvulsant used for several types of seizures, including myotonic or atonic seizures, photosensitive epilepsy, and absence seizures, although tolerance may develop. It is seldom effective in generalized tonic-clonic or partial seizures. The mechanism of action appears to involve the enhancement of GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID receptor responses.
An anticonvulsant especially useful in the treatment of absence seizures unaccompanied by other types of seizures.
A syndrome characterized by the onset of isolated language dysfunction in otherwise normal children (age of onset 4-7 years) and epileptiform discharges on ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY. Seizures, including atypical absence (EPILEPSY, ABSENCE), complex partial (EPILEPSY, COMPLEX PARTIAL), and other types may occur. The electroencephalographic abnormalities and seizures tend to resolve by puberty. The language disorder may also resolve although some individuals are left with severe language dysfunction, including APHASIA and auditory AGNOSIA. (From Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, pp749-50; J Child Neurol 1997 Nov;12(8):489-495)
Epilepsy is defined as a disorder of brain function characterized by recurrent seizures that have a sudden onset. (Oxford Medical Dictionary). A seizure is caused by a sudden burst of excess electrical activity in the brain, causing a tempora...