Motoric and Cognitive Effects of Risperidone and Haloperidol in an Animal Model of Schizophrenia

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Cook, Audrey
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Western Illinois University
Motor disturbances (also known as extrapyramidal side effects) and cognitive deficits are common side effects of antipsychotic drug therapies. Research has suggested that the prevalence rate of motor side effects is greater in typical antipsychotic drug therapies than in atypical antipsychotic drug therapies. The aims of the present study are to evaluate the ketamine-model of schizophrenia and determine whether the difference in the prevalence of motor side effects between typical and atypical antipsychotic drugs is due to the drug type itself or the typical dosage levels of these drugs. Forty, healthy, male Long-Evans hooded rats, Rattus norvegicus, served as the subjects for this study. The rats were approximately 120 days old. In order to observe motor disturbances and cognitive deficits, the rats were divided into four treatment groups: the control group, the ketamine group, the ketamine/haloperidol group, and the ketamine/risperidone group. The rats were put through an Alternative Task (t-maze), an Open-Field Activity Task, and a Swim Test. Significant differences in motor and cognitive abilities among the four treatment groups for each task were indicated by Kruskal-Wallis tests and differentiated by Mann-Whitney U post-hoc tests. Results indicate that the ketamine-model of schizophrenia is valid. A higher prevalence of motor side effects was indicated in the rats treated with the typical antipsychotic drug.
Honors Undergraduate Thesis; Department of Psychology