Letter | Published:

Intensification of the alcohol withdrawal syndrome by repeated brain stimulation

Abstract

SINCE the discovery that electrical stimulation of discrete sites of the brain can influence behaviour, there have been numerous reports of its application1. Such procedures, however, may lead to kindling2; stimulation of some sites at currents initially too low to produce a behavioural response may lead to a gradual development and then intensification of seizures evoked by the stimulation3. Thus when the brain is repeatedly stimulated for therapeutic purposes, seizures may be elicited unless procedures not conducive to kindling are used2. Two questions arise: can kindling leave an organism more susceptible to seizures produced by agents other than local brain stimulation, and are elicited convulsions necessary for this change in susceptibility? Our findings indicate that whether or not overt convulsions are produced by brain stimulation, repeated electrical stimulation of the brain potentiates the effects of subsequent alcohol withdrawal.

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