Caffeine augmentation of electroconvulsive seizures

Andrew Francis, Laura Fochtmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Caffeine has been used clinically to increase seizure length in electroconvulsive treatment (ECT). The present study was designed to establish an animal model of caffeine-augmented seizures for further study of mechanisms and effects of pharmacological manipulation of seizure length. Increasing doses of caffeine (0-200 mg/kg, IP) were given before electroconvulsive stimulation (ECS) in rats and resulting seizure lengths were quantified by timing of classical tonic-clonic convulsive movements. With this paradigm, caffeine led to a dose-dependent increase in seizure duration. This proconvulsant action of caffeine was detectable within 1 min after dosing, persisted for at least 230 min and was reversible. The results suggest that seizure length is a practicable measure in pharmacological modification of electroconvulsive seizures. They also suggest that pharmacologically-modified ECS can be modeled effectively in animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-324
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1994


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology

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