The course of untreated seizures in the pilocarpine model of epilepsy

Epilepsy Res. 1999 Apr;34(2-3):99-107. doi: 10.1016/s0920-1211(98)00092-8.


The course of untreated epilepsy is not well established. This study uses a model of chronic limbic epilepsy (pilocarpine model of epilepsy) to determine the pattern of occurrence of seizures in untreated animals. Following pilocarpine administration, 21 rats were monitored continuously with a video system for 135 days after the first spontaneous seizure. Animals showed a great variability in seizure numbers and were divided in two subgroups presenting either a low frequency of seizures (n = 9 animals presenting ten or less seizures in the first 15 days of observation) or a high frequency of seizures (n = 12 animals presenting more than ten seizures during this period). Animals with low number of seizures during the first 15 days of observation showed a significant increase in seizure frequency in the following period of analysis (until 105 days). On the other hand, those with initial high number of seizures showed significant changes in seizure frequency only in the first 2 months. The duration of each spontaneous seizure did not change significantly over time. These findings show that in untreated epilepsy there is a maturation process in the early stages and this accelerating process can be of predictive value for the treatment of epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy / chemically induced*
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / psychology
  • Incidence
  • Muscarinic Agonists*
  • Pilocarpine*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Status Epilepticus / chemically induced
  • Status Epilepticus / physiopathology


  • Muscarinic Agonists
  • Pilocarpine