The genetically epileptic-prone rat (GEPR) is a valuable model for the study of gene-linked abnormalities involved in epilepsy. In comparison with normal Sprague-Dawley controls, we found, in GEPRs, a marked depression in local cerebral glucose utilization, widespread throughout the brain. This depression was accompanied by a significant increase of blood-brain barrier permeability and a reduction in regional blood volume. Finally GEPRs showed lower plasma levels of total triiodothyronine than normal controls. One can speculate that alterations in cerebral metabolism and microvascular regulation and thyroid hormone imbalance may be gene-linked factors involved in seizure susceptibility.
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