Caffeine augmentation of electroconvulsive seizures

Andrew Francis, Laura Fochtmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 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 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology


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