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Fed Proc. 1985 May;44(8):2425-31.

Role of the brain-stem reticular formation in tonic-clonic seizures: lesion and pharmacological studies.

Abstract

Bilateral lesions of the pontine tegmentum involving the superior cerebellar peduncles and the nucleus reticularis pontis oralis have been shown to attenuate the tonic components of maximal seizures induced by electroshock, sound stimulation (audiogenic), or pentylenetetrazol, although having no effect on clonus in three separate seizure models. The pontine tegmental lesion also abolishes the clonus of minimal audiogenic seizures that have a motor pattern different from that of other clonic models, and are believed to originate in the brain stem. The preponderant suppression of tonus by the pontine tegmental lesion as well as the inhibition of clonus in audiogenic seizures is strikingly similar to the effects of phenytoin in these same seizure models. The findings presented are consistent with the hypothesis that the pontine reticular formation (RF) plays a key role in the generation and/or expression of tonic convulsions. Additional findings are presented that suggest that serotonin may attenuate the tonic components of maximal electroshock seizures by an action on the brain stem. Thus, it seems likely that pontine tegmental lesions as well as antiepileptic drugs and neurotransmitters with preferential effects on tonic seizures act on a common neural substrate that appears to include the brain-stem RF.

PMID:
3886430
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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