Evaluation of the Sedative and Anticonvulsant Properties of Three Cameroonian Plants
Millettia thonningii, Ocinum sanctum and Securitaca longepedunculaca are used in traditional medicine in Cameroon to treat epilepsy, insomnia and headaches. Animal models of epilepsy (maximal electroshock (MES), n-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA), pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), isonicotinic hydrazide acid (INH), picrotoxine (PIC) and strychnine (STR)-induced convulsions or turning behavior were used to evaluate anticonvulsant activity while diazepam-induced sleep test was used to evaluate sedative activity of the plants. Four doses of extracts were used for each plant (100, 200, 500 and 1000 mg/kg). At a dose of 1000 mg/kg, Millettia thonningii protected 60 and 90% of mice against MES and PTZ-induced convulsions, respectively. At the same dose, Millettia thonningii also protected 80% of mice against NMDA-induced turning behavior. At a dose of 1000 mg/kg, Ocinum sanctum provided complete protection against MES, PIC and STR- induced convulsions and 83.3% of protection in PTZ test. Securitaca longepedunculata completely protected (100%) mice in PIC test at a dose of 200 mg/kg, in MES test at a dose of 500 mg/kg and in PTZ test at a dose of 1000 mg/kg. 66.7% of mice were protected against STRinduced convulsions. All the three plants showed also sedative properties for they increased significantly and in a dose dependent manner the total sleep time induced by diazepam. The total sleep time of the control groups was multiplied by a factor of 3 at least by each extract. The presence of sedative and anticonvulsant activity in the three plants could explain their use in traditional medicine in the treatment of epilepsy and insomnia in Cameroon.
Keywords: Epilepsy; Insomnia; Traditional medicine.