Background: Although roots of neem plant have established pharmacological activities such as analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticarcinogenic, there are contradictory results as far as anticonvulsant activity is concerned. Hence, the present study was undertaken to explore the anticonvulsant activity of neem roots.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to study the anticonvulsant activity of alcoholic extract of neem root.
Materials and Methods: In maximal electroshock method (maximal electroshock seizure), a total of 30 albino rats of either sex weighing 200250 g were used and divided into six groups. The control group received 2 ml of distilled water orally daily for 15 days. The standard group received phenobarbitone 20 mg/kg i.p. The test groups received orally neem leaf extract at the dose of 200, 400, and 800 mg/kg for 15 days. Convulsions were produced by 150 mA current for 0.2 s on day 1, 3, 5, and 10 using electroconvulsiometer. Change in duration of hind limb extension was measured. In the pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) method, PTZ at a dose of 60 mg/kg i.p was given to produce convulsion in all mice. A total of 30 mice were divided into five groups of six animals. The control group received orally 2 ml of distilled water daily for 15 days. The standard group received diazepam 4 mg/kg i.p. daily for 15 days. The test group received orally NLE at the dose of 200, 400, and 800 mg/kg for 15 days. The onset of clonic convulsions and the total number of clonic convulsions in 20 min was observed.
Results: The mean duration of hind limb extension in test group before the highest dose of neem extract (800 mg) administration was 8.7 ± 0.3 and after 15 days it was 8.8 ± 0.21. The mean onset of convulsions and mean number of convulsions in 20 min in the test group with highest dose of neem extract (800 mg) administration was 3.44 ± 0.24 and 42 ± 0.76, respectively, and there was no significant difference when compared to the control group.
Conclusion: The alcoholic extract of Azadirachta indica (neem) root is not having any anticonvulsant activity in rodents.
Key words: Neem; Rats; Mice; Experimental Pharmacology; Epilepsy; Plant Extract