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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 166-171

Investigation of the possible role of Shankapushpi in the attenuation of ECT induced amnestic deficits


1 Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Program in Neurosciences, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Central Animal Research Facility, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Chittaranjan Andrade
Department of Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.99542

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Introduction: Shankapushpi (Evolvulus alsinoides and others) has received mention in traditional Indian writings as a potential enhancer of cognitive functioning. This study used an animal model to examine whether Shankapushpi improves learning and memory and attenuates anterograde and retrograde amnesia associated with electroconvulsive shocks (ECS). Materials and Methods: Adult, male, Sprague Dawley rats (n=64) were treated with an aqueous extract of Shankapushpi or vehicle all through the 13-day study. From Days 1 to 8, the animals received Shankapushpi or vehicle alone. On Days 8-10, the animals were trained in a T-maze. On Day 11, they received two true or sham 30 mC ECS 5 h apart. On Day 12, recall of pre-ECS training was examined, and on Day 13, new learning was assessed. Results: Shankapushpi-treated rats did not show better learning during the pre-ECS phase (Days 8-10). Seizure duration was not influenced by Shankapushpi treatment (Day 11). Shankapushpi did not attenuate ECS-induced retrograde amnesia (Day 12). ECS did not impair new learning, and the effect of Shankapushpi herein, therefore, could not be ascertained (Day 13). Conclusions: In this animal model of learning and memory, and of ECS-induced retrograde amnesia, Shankapushpi was found to have no favorable or unfavorable effects on either cognitive or seizure duration parameters. These findings diminish expectations of cognitive and anticonvulsant benefits of simple Shankapushpi decoctions in clinical settings, but do not preclude benefits with extracts obtained and concentrated by using other methods.



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