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Moeller, Christina; van Dijk, Roelof Maarten; Wolf, Fabio; Keck, Michael; Schönhoff, Katharina; Bierling, Vera and Potschka, Heidrun (2019): Impact of repeated kindled seizures on heart rate rhythms, heart rate variability, and locomotor activity in rats. In: Epilepsy & Behavior, Vol. 92: pp. 36-44

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Although an impact of epilepsy on circadian rhythmicity is well-recognized, there are profound gaps in our understanding of the influence of seizures on diurnal rhythms. The effect on activity levels and heart rate is of particular interest as it might contribute to the disease burden. The kindling model with telemetric transmitter implants provides excellent opportunities to study the consequences of focal and generalized seizures under standardized conditions. Data from kindled rats with generalized seizures revealed an increase in activity and heart rate during the resting phase. Total and short-term heart rate variabilities were not affected by electrode implantation or seizure induction. Ictal alterations in heart rate associated with generalized seizures were characterized by a biphasic bradycardia with an immediate drop of heart rate followed by a transient normalization and a second more steady decrease. In conclusion, the findings demonstrate that once daily generalized seizures can exert significant effects on heart rate rhythms. Respective alterations in patients would be of relevance for patient counselling and therapeutic management. Occurrence of biphasic bradycardia associated with seizure induction suggests that the kindling model is suitable to study the consequences and the prevention of ictal bradycardia, which may pose patients at risk for sudden unexpected death. (C) 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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