The effect of acute cocaine or lidocaine on behavioral function following fluid percussion brain injury in rats

J. K. Muir, Bruce G Lyeth, R. J. Hamm, E. F. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


One of the goals of our laboratory is to examine how the presence of drugs of abuse will influence traumatic brain injury. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that cocaine or lidocaine treatment before experimental fluid percussion brain injury in rats reduces the cortical hypoperfusion normally found in the early posttraumatic period. The purpose of the current study was to determine if pretreatment with cocaine or lidocaine is also associated with changes in trauma-induced suppression of reflexes and motor and cognitive dysfunction that occurs following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Twenty-four hours after surgical preparation, rats were randomly assigned to a saline or drug pretreatment group, cocaine (0.5, 2, or 5 mg/kg) or lidocaine (2 mg/kg), which was injected via the tail vein. None of the drug pretreatments worsened injury. Lidocaine and cocaine decreased the duration of suppression of some neurological reflexes and reduced posttraumatic body weight losses. Lidocaine and cocaine both decreased postinjury motor deficits. Lidocaine and cocaine did not affect cognitive function on days 11- 15 postinjury. The mechanism by which lidocaine improves acute neurological and motor function following brain injury is unknown, but may involve improved posttraumatic cortical blood flow, as seen in our previous study. Our results, along with other studies showing lidocaine to be neuroprotective in animal models of ischemia, suggest that studies of the effect of posttraumatic administration of lidocaine are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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