Effect of topiramate following recurrent and prolonged seizures during early development

Byung Ho Cha, Diosely C. Silveira, Xianzeng Liu, Yingchun Hu, Gregory L. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Topiramate, an antiepileptic drug with a number of mechanisms of action including inhibition of glutamate activity at the AMPA and KA receptors, was assessed as a neuroprotective agent following seizures. We administered topiramate, 80 mg/kg, or saline for 4 weeks following a series of 25 neonatal seizures or status epilepticus (SE) induced by lithium-pilocarpine in postnatal day 20 rats. Age-matched control rats without a history of seizures were administered topiramate or saline. Following completion of the topiramate injections, animals were tested in the water maze for spatial learning and the brains examined for cell loss and sprouting of mossy fibers. While there was a trend for improved visual-spatial performance in the water maze following topiramate therapy in rats with neonatal seizures, no differences were found in the histological examination of the hippocampus. Neonatal rats exposed to 4 weeks of topiramate did not differ from non-treated controls in water maze performance or histological examination. In weanling rats subjected to SE, topiramate provided a moderate degree of neuroprotection, with topiramate-treated rats performing better in the water maze than rats receiving saline. However, no differences in cell loss or mossy fiber sprouting were found in the histological examination of the brains. These findings demonstrate that chronic treatment with topiramate following SE improves cognitive function. In addition, long-term administration of high-dose topiramate in the normal developing rat brain does not appear to impair cognitive performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-232
Number of pages16
JournalEpilepsy Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Epilepsy
  • Learning
  • Pilocarpine
  • Seizures
  • Water maze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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