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Functional integrity of benzodiazepine receptors of the geniculo-striate visual pathways in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

A pharmacological evoked potential study


We evaluated the effects of flumazenil (FMZ), a high-affinity benzodiazepine receptor antagonist, on flash-evoked visual potentials (FEPs) in a patient with Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD). FEPs were recorded in three different consecutive sessions: (1) basal condition, without any pharmacological treatment; (2) 3.5 min after i.v. administration of 5 mg FMZ; (3) 1 min after i.v. administration of 10mg diazepam (DZP). FMZ provoked a marked increase in the amplitude as well as evident shortening of the latency of early FEP components. DZP reversed these effects. These results are in agreement with our previous findings of anatomical and functional integrity of the geniculo-striate pathways in human CJD and demonstrate functional integrity of benzodiazepine receptors in this visual system in CJD.

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Correspondence to U. Aguglia.

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Aguglia, U., Oliveri, R.L., Gambardella, A. et al. Functional integrity of benzodiazepine receptors of the geniculo-striate visual pathways in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. J Neurol 240, 25–27 (1993).

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Key words

  • Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease
  • Diazepam
  • Flash-evoked visual potentials
  • Flumazenil
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid