Ketamine: Convulsant or anti-convulsant?

M. S. Myslobodsky*, V. Golovchinsky, M. Mintz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Ketamine hydrochloride in doses producing narcotic-cataleptic effects (50-100 mg/kg, IP) reduced the intensity of picrotoxin convulsions and eliminated seizures caused by metrazol administration. Subcataleptic doses (5-20 mg/kg) increased the duration of mitigated convulsive symptoms (abortive grand mal fits, jerks) especially those evoked by picrotoxin. Narcotic-cateleptic doses of ketamine considerably increased the duration of the period of single and multiple jerks produced by picrotoxin administration. Both convulsants transformed 1-2 Hz "ketamine complexes" into 2-4 Hz Wave-spike discharges which appeared in a quasi-periodic fashion alternating with periods of relatively suppressed electrocortical activity. Electroencephalographic grand mal patterns were typically dissociated from behavioral manifestations under 50-100 mg/kg of ketamine, followed by a short period of postictal depression and a rapid recovery of preseizure electrographic patterns. Findings suggest that mechanisms involved in seizure alleviation may be responsible for sustaining mitigated convulsive phenomena. Neuro-chemical processes underlying antiepileptic ketamine potency remain unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1981


FundersFunder number
E. Spiegel Family Foundation


    • Ketamine
    • Metrazol
    • Picrotoxin
    • Status pathophysiology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ketamine: Convulsant or anti-convulsant?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this