Behavioral changes in models of chemoconvulsant-induced epilepsy: A review

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Abstract

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in the general population and affects over 50 million people worldwide. Epilepsy is characterized by the presence of spontaneous recurrent seizures as a result of sudden and abnormal electrical activity in specific areas of the cerebral cortex. However, this condition encompasses much more than simply the presence of seizures. Cognitive problems and behavioral impairments are also frequent actors, as well as mood disorders. These must be precisely described in order to develop more successful pharmacological, or even behavioral, treatments. We review some of the fundamental behavioral experimental rodent protocols that have recently been applied to the study of behavioral impairments in epilepsy, particularly in epilepsy modeled by different chemoconvulsants, such as pilocarpine or kainic acid. These experimental protocols are classified into two categories: Tests designed for studying emotional factors, and those designed for studying cognitive impairments and social behavior. Behavioral impairments and adaptations identified by the use of these procedures are described.

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