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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Intensification of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome by antecedent electroconvulsive shocks Van Oot, Peter H.


When periodic electroconvulsive shocks (ECSs) were administered, a progressive intensification of the motor seizure (MS) pattern occurred. This effect was observed when ECSs at either 15 or 75 mA were administered at 3-day, but not 1-hr intervals. The magnitude of the increase in severity of the MS pattern was a function of the number of ECSs which approached asymptote, in these experiments, at approximately ten ECSs. Periodic ECSs were also found to potentiate the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. In general, those conditions which were found to facilitate the kindling of MSs were the same as those which produced the potentiation of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome. Furthermore, this potentiation was found to persist up to 3 weeks after the last ECS under the conditions used in these experiments. Finally, the potentiation of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurred even after the MSs had been pharmacologically blocked. The results of these experiments were discussed in light of their implications to both basic and clinical research.

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