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Neurosci Lett. 1989 Mar 13;98(1):74-8.

Specific petit mal anticonvulsants reduce calcium currents in thalamic neurons.

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Department of Neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA.


Low-threshold calcium current (LTCC) in thalamic neurons is important in generation of normal thalamocortical rhythms, and may be involved in the genesis of abnormal activities such as spike-wave discharges that characterize petit mal epilepsy. Ethosuximide and dimethadione, anticonvulsants effective in petit mal, reduced the LTCC when applied to thalamic neurons at clinically relevant concentrations. Therapeutic concentrations of phenytoin and carbamazepine, drugs ineffective in the control of petit mal, had minimal effects on calcium conductances. Reduction in LTCC may be an important mechanism of action by which specific petit mal anticonvulsants depress spike-wave activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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