Carbamazepine (20 mg/kg, 40 mg/kg or 60 mg/kg) given three times a day, has been demonstrated to have a significant anti-epileptic effect in rats with chronic limbic epilepsy induced by injecting tetanus toxin bilaterally into their hippocampi. This effect involved a reduction in the maximum number of fits occurring on one day, and with the highest dose, a significant reduction in the total number of fits. In a pilot experiment in which continuous EEG records were obtained throughout the syndrome, it appeared that the effect of carbamazepine was to reduce the proportion of EEG seizure discharges which lead to overt motor fits. With the higher drug dose plasma levels of carbamazepine were maintained around 2 micrograms/ml. This experimental epilepsy produces enduring deficits in the rats' memories for a light-discrimination task in a Y-maze learned before induction of epilepsy (8 weeks after initial learning). If the rats are dosed with carbamazepine during their epilepsy this memory deficit is abolished.
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