Behavioural effects of benzodiazepines following metrazol-induced seizures
Master of Arts
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Previous research indicates that seizures cause transient and in some cases, long lasting increases in the density of benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. The present research sought to discover the behavioural effects of diazepam (Valium), one of the benzodiazepines, on rats in a conflict paradigm following Metrazol induced seizures. A total of 82 SHS rats (both sexes) were used in this 4(diazepam doses) X 2 (seizure condition) X 2(sexes) factorial design. The conflict involved the availability of food for 24 hour food deprived rats in a brightly lit open field . Since diazepam is known to have an anticonflict effect, it was hypothesized that animals experiencing a seizure would demonstrate a greater anticonflict response. Results showed significant main effects for diazepam and seizure factors in food eaten, approaches to the food and in the ratio between food eaten and approaches to the food. However, the seizure condition animals showed less anticonflict behaviour which is contrary to what was predicted. Significant drug by seizure interactions were expected and confirmed. The possible drug interactions at the level of the brain receptors is discussed, as well as, the behaviour resulting from combining central nervous system(CNS) stimulants with CNS depressants and anxiolytics.