Effect of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 on recovery from spinal cord injury in rats given uncontrollable stimulation
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The eventual outcome of spinal cord injury is largely influenced by damage that occurs after the injury. Damaged connections between spinal cord cells and the brain allow a positive feedback mechanism to go unchecked when activated by ascending pain messages. Over-excitation then causes secondary damage. This study examines whether a pharmacological manipulation that should attenuate over-excitation reduces the adverse effects of shock treatment. Rats received spinal impact injuries and, the next day, were given the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 (0.08 mg/kg, i.p.) or its vehicle before receiving either a bout of uncontrollable stimulation or identical treatment without the stimulation itself. Their hindlimb motor activity was monitored for 21 days. Results indicate a significant effect of the drug on rats that received uncontrollable stimulation. The study has clinical implications for the treatment of spinal cord injuries in humans.
Petrich, Christine (2006). Effect of the NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 on recovery from spinal cord injury in rats given uncontrollable stimulation. Available electronically from