Development of the age-related spontaneous spike-wave discharges in rat neocortex and exposure to a model neurotoxin
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In laboratory rats an epileptic-like spontanous neocortical activity in the form of bursts of spike and wave discharges (SWD) develops gradually with age. High incidence of the SWD episodes is accopanied by the other indices characteristic of advanced age:memory disturbances and atropic changes within basal forebrain structures.Accordingly ,it has been proposed that the number and duration of the SWD episodes be regarded as a diagnostic marker to distinquish between young and old brains. It is suspected that exposure to neurotoxins may accelerate the progress of age-related neurodegeneration by predisposing neurons to premature death and thus hasten the appearance of age-related functional deficits. Analysing the development of SWD activity in exposed rats may be helpful for an assesment of the potency of the neurotoxin under study to exert such an effect.In the present work the influence of a three-month exposure to a model neurotoxin, ethanol (ETOH), on the development of the SWD in imp-DAK rats was investigated.It has been found that in rats given 10 solution as the only drink for three months, the incidence of the SWD episodes increased merkedly.The increase was most clearly seen after ETOH withdrawal and on the 90th day after exposure no tendency to decline could be observed.The obtained data indicate that exposure to exogenous substances may exert a distinquishable long-lasting influence on the development of the SWD activity.
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