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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1994 Summer;6(3):279-84.

Rat model of delirium: atropine dose-response relationships.

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  • 1Medical College of Pennsylvania, Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Pittsburgh.


The authors report dose-response relationships for atropine in their rat model of human delirium. In this model, anticholinergic mechanisms are an important cause and may be a neurochemical final common pathway for diverse etiologies of delirium. Four intravenous (i.v.) bolus doses of atropine (27.5, 13.5, 6.875, and 3.44 mg/kg) were studied along with the originally reported dose of 55 mg/kg and saline control. Subsequent iv infusions were also proportionately reduced. EEG frequency and amplitude, maze performance, and subjective behavioral descriptions were taken over 320-minute study periods. Repeated-measures analysis of variance compared data between groups, and effect sizes were calculated. Dosages to be used in future studies are discussed.

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