There is controversy as to whether prolonged seizures are more detrimental to the immature than the mature brain. To evaluate this question continuous hippocampal stimulation was used to induce prolonged limbic seizures in 20-, 30-, and 60-day-old rats. The long-term effects on learning and activity level were then studied at age 80 days using the Morris water maze, a test of spatial learning and memory, and the open field test, a test of an animal's reaction to a novel environment. Limbic status epilepticus in 60-day-old but not 20- and 30-day-old rats caused long-term impairment of learning in the Morris water maze. No differences were noted between the control and the experimental animals in the open field test. These results suggest that the age of seizure onset is an important determinant of long-term cognitive sequelae.
- Continuous hippocampal stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Developmental Biology