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November 1980

Vestibulo-ocular Reflexes in Rabbits: Reduction by Intravenous Injection of Diazepam

Author Affiliations

From the Neurological Sciences Institute, Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center, Portland, Ore. Dr Pettorossi is now with the Institute of Human Physiology, Catholic University, Rome.

Arch Neurol. 1980;37(11):718-722. doi:10.1001/archneur.1980.00500600066014

• We have studied the influence of intravenously administered diazepam on the horizontal (HVOR) and vertical (VVOR) vestibulo-ocular reflexes of the rabbit. The HVOR and VVOR were evoked by sinusoidal oscillation of rabbits on a rate table (0.01 to 0.8 Hz, ± 10°), and eye movements were measured with an infrared light-projection technique. The gains of the HVOR and VVOR (evoked eye velocity/head velocity) were reduced by diazepam injections of 5 μg/kg. The dose required to produce a 50% reduction in HVOR gain was 500 μg/kg. The time required to reduce the HVOR gain to 50% of its maximal reduction at a dose of 400 μg/kg (0.4 Hz, ±10°) was 60 s. These data suggest that diazepam might be effective as an anti-motion-sickness agent.

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