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Background: Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people of all ages worldwide. In the search of safe and effective antiepileptics traditional treatment practices are one area of research to obtain novel molecules. Research is also needed to validate and standardize the traditional claim. Clutia abyssinica leaves were one of the medicinal plants claimed for use against epilepsy and evil eye and other diseases in different parts of Ethiopia. But there was no scientific research evidence for the claimed use of the plant. Therefore this work was designed to evaluate the anticonvulsant effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Clutia abyssinica leaves.
Methods: The dry residue of the plant extract was used for the test. In vitro 0Mg2+ mice model at dose 0.7 mg/kg of extract, diazepam (3μM) and untreated brain slice groups were used to compare the presence of seizure like event (SLE). In vivo pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) model with 85 mg/kg subcutaneously was used to compare the seizure onset time with two extract doses and diazepam 5 mg/kg. The data was presented with mean± standard error. In maximum electric shock (MES) model 54 mA was passed for 0.2 second transauricularly in mice. The mean time of hind limb extension was recorded for doses 400 mg/kg and 800mg/kg of the extract and 10 mg/kg phenytoin. The means were compared for statistical significance using one way ANOVA post hoc LSD whereas proportions were compared using Fishers exact test with P-value < .05.
Results: In vitro anticonvulsant tests C. abyssinica extract effect was not statistically significant compared to negative control (P>0.05).A positive control using the known anticonvulsant diazepam (3μM), showed significant anticonvulsant activity (P<0.05). The in vivo PTZ test showed no statistically significant effect in plant extract at all dose levels (P>0.05). In the in vivo MES test the extract of Clutia abyssinica both low and higher dose didn't show statistically significant effect (P>0.05) compared with the negative control. But the extract improved survival (p<0.05). The qualitative secondary metabolite test evidenced the presence of alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, flavanoids, phenols, saponins, sterols and terpeoids in Clutia abyssinica extract.
Conclusion: The hydroalcoholic crude extract result of the C. abyssinica as anticonvulsant is weak based on the models used in this study. For most of the local preparation are mixes of different plants it may have synergistic action with other plants. Or it may have action with other models of chronic epilepsy.
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