A Comparative Neuropathology Assessment of the Efficacy of Diazepam Treatment in Preventing Neuronal Damage after Soman Exposure
Waltersdorf, Lainie K.
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Exposure to organophosphorous (OP) compounds such as soman can result in the inhibition of the acetylchoninesterase (AChE) resulting in status epilepticus (SE). SE is considered the main cause of brain lesions, morphological changes and damage that results in epilepsy. Existing treatments reduce, but do not fully eliminate the damage caused by OP exposure. In this study the effect of diazepam (DZP) as a neuroprotectant against soman exposure was investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to soman were either treated with a single administration of DZP or a vehicle control. Fluoro-Jade B stained coronal slices of the brain showed that DZP significantly decreased the amount of damage found in the dorsal hippocampus in all three experimental groups. DZP also significantly decreased the amount of damage in the amygdala for two of the three experimental groups. There was no significant change in damage observed in the thalamus or piriform cortex. The DZP treated rats experienced SE for a much shorter amount of time, but they still developed recurrent seizures (RS) post SE. It was concluded that a single administration of DZP after soman exposure can significantly reduce damage to the hippocampus. It is possible that there are other anticonvulsants that may work, or that combinations of several drugs may be needed for further success in combating organophosphate exposure.