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November 1975

Starvation and Seizures: Observations on the Electroconvulsive Threshold and Cerebral Metabolism of the Starved Adult Rat

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics and neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, and the Division of Neurology, St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis.

Arch Neurol. 1975;32(11):755-760. doi:10.1001/archneur.1975.00490530077008

• Acute starvation of adult rats resulted in a rise In the electroconvulsive threshold at 48 hours (P <.10) and at 72 hours (P <.01), but not at 24 hours. Biochemlcal correlates Included (1) ketonemia and mild hypoglycemia in the blood; (2) a significant rise in the brain cytoplasmic phosphorylation potential and in the energy charge potential; (3) a shift in the brain cytoplasmic oxidation-reduction potential to a more oxidized state; (4) probable partial inhibitions in brain phosphofructokinase and pyruvate dehydrogenase; and (5) relatively small increases in brain sodium (4.1%), potassium (2.4%), and chloride (4.3%). No major differences were seen in brain water content or adenosine triphosphatase activity. The observed cerebral biochemical alterations are believed to be the consequence of increased ketone body utilization, although the precise relationship to the alteration in the electroconvulsive threshold remains unclear.