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Pharmacological models of generalized absence seizures in rodents.

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Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital, Los Angeles, California.


A number of animal models of generalized absence seizures in rodents are described. These include absence seizures induced by gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), low dose pentylenetetrazole, penicillin, THIP, and AY-9944. All of these models share behavioral and EEG similarity to human absence seizures and show pharmacologic specificity for antiabsence drugs such as ethosuximide and trimethadione. Moreover, the absence seizures induced by these agents are exacerbated by GABAergic agonists, a property unique to experimental absence seizures. These models are predictable, reproducible, and easy to standardize. They are useful both in studying mechanisms of pathogenesis of absence seizures as well as in screening for antiabsence activity of potential antiepileptic drugs.

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