The Effect of Withania somnifera Alcoholic Extract on Learning and Memory Disturbance in a Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy in the Rat

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.

2 School of Medicine, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Neurophysiology Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objective: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) usually leads to memory deficit. In this study, we tried to assess the effect of Withania somnifera extract on the impaired learning and memory in the intrahippocampal kainate model of TLE in the rat.
Materials & Methods: Male rats (n=32) were divided into sham, extract+sham, kainite, and kainite+extract. For induction of epilepsy, unilateral hippocampal injection of 1 microgram of kainate was made. Rats received the extract at a dose of 100 mg/kg daily for three days prior to surgery. At the end of 4 weeks, to assess learning and memory, initial latency and step through delay using passive avoidance test and the percentage of alternation behavior in the Y maze test were determined.
Results: Extract pretreatment of kainate group did not significantly attenuate severity and incidence rate of seizures, did not significantly improve retrieval and recall in passive avoidance and significantly ameliorated spatial memory deficit in Y maze (p<0.05).
Conclusion: These data suggest that Withania somnifera alcoholic extract could attenuate spatial memory disturbance in TLE model in rat.