Ficus religiosa L. figs--a potential herbal adjuvant to phenytoin for improved management of epilepsy and associated behavioral comorbidities.
Epilepsy Behav. 2014 Dec ;41:171-8. Epub 2014 Oct 25. PMID: 25461211
Oxidative stress, together with mitochondrial dysfunction, has been reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of epileptogenesis and its associated comorbidities. Phytoflavonoids have shown numerous beneficial ameliorative effects on different neurological disorders by virtue of their antioxidant effect. The present study investigated the effect of flavonoid-rich ethyl acetate fraction of the crude fig extract of Ficus religiosa in combination with phenytoin on seizure severity, depressive behavior, and cognitive deficit in pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-kindled mice. The flavonoid-rich ethyl acetate fraction of the crude fig extract was found to show significant antioxidant potential in various in vitro free radical scavenging assays. Combined treatment of this fraction (2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg; i.p.) along with a subeffective dose of phenytoin (15 mg/kg; i.p.) in postkindled animals once daily for fifteen days showed a dose-dependent decrease in the seizure severity score, a decreased number of mistakes, increased step-down latency in passive shock avoidance paradigm, and decreased immobility time in the tail suspension test in comparison with the phenytoin only-treated group. Biochemical investigations of the brain tissue showed amelioration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), reduced glutathione (GSH) levels, and reduced catalase and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activities, thereby indicating suppression of oxidative stress. In conclusion, the results of the present study showed the protective effect of the flavonoid-rich fraction of F. religiosa along with a subeffective dose of phenytoin in PTZ-kindling-associated cognitive deficit and depressive behavior with complete suppression of seizures through reduction of oxidative stress, supporting the the need for clinical evaluation of the supplementation of phytoflavonoids along with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) for management of epilepsy and its psychiatric and cognitive comorbidities.