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INVESTIGATE THE ANTICONVULSANT AND SEDATIVE EFFECT OF THE METHANOLIC ROOT EXTRACT OF NEWBOULDIA LAEVIS (P. BEAUV.) AGAINST PTZ AND AMPH INDUCED CONVULSION AND ITS EFFECT ON PHENOBARBITONE INDUCED SLEEP IN MICE
1.1. Background of Study
The term “epilepsy” denotes any disorder characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. A seizure is a transient disturbance of cerebral function due to an abnormal paroxysmal neuronal discharge in the brain (Papadakis et al., 2014).
The disease affects 1% of the population worldwide, being the second most common neurological disorder after stroke. It has a variety of causative factors such as; trauma, oxygen deprivation, tumors, infection and metabolic derangements which produce
long lasting plastic changes in the brain affecting neurotransmitters release and transport, the properties of receptors and channels, regulation of gene expression, synaptic reorganization and astrocyte activity. (Scheueret al., 2009)
There exist several options in the pharmacological treatment of the disease. However, the available synthetic Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are associated with side effects, dose-related chronic toxicity and approximately 30% of patients continue to have seizures with current AED therapy (Stefan and Wang, 2004).
In the light of this, plants already used in traditional medicine can be a good place to start in the search for safer and more effective options. Numerous plants used for the treatment of epilepsy traditionally have been shown to be potent in models of epilepsy and several such plants remain to be scientifically validated (Razaet al., 2001).
Medicinal plants used in traditional medicine for the treatment of epilepsy have been scientifically shown to possess promising anticonvulsant activities in animal models for screening for anticonvulsant activity and can be a source of newer anticonvulsants (Twinomujuniet al., 2016).
Newbouldialaevis (Bignoniaceae) commonly known as African border tree or boundary tree (Gbile and Adesina, 1986) is a fast growing evergreen shrub or small tree which grows to the height of about 7-8m in the west and upto 20m in the east of the west African region (Barwick M., 2004). It is native to Tropical Africa and grows from Guinea savannahs to dense forest, or moist and well drained soils (Burkill, 1984). Traditionally, it is used in the treatment of dysentery, malaria, elephantiasis, migraines and seizures. The bark and twigs are used to treat women pelvic pain, peptic ulcer disease, earache, skin ulcer, epilepsy, hemorrhoids and constipation. It has also been found useful for epilepsy and children’s convulsion (Akunyili, 2000).
This study was aimed at providing experimental support for the traditional medicinal use of the root methanolic extracts of N. laevis in the management of epilepsy as well as its sedative effect.
1.2. Traditional Medicine in Nigeria
According to The World Health Organization(WHO), traditional medicine is defined as “the sum total of the knowledge, skills and practices based on the theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health, as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illnesses” (WHO, 2000).
Traditional medicine dates back to the origin of mankind. Herbs had been used by all cultures throughout history. The ancient man tried various plants and herbs in an attempt to solve some illnesses that disturbed him. The use of specific plants for specific illnesses was usually based on instinct, revelation, observation of effects on animal etc. The presence of several plants with medicinal properties in a Neanderthal tomb in Iraq suggests that herbs may have been used therapeutically for more than 60 000 years (Solecki, 1975). This proves that herbal medicine had been with man before the discovery of orthodox medicine and rightly, most orthodox medicines were developed from known herbal medicine.
In Nigeria, traditional medicine was seen as a fetish way of curing diseases in the past. It is believed that poor and illiterate individuals are the patronizers of traditional medicine. This thought is supported by the point that most of its practioners were regarded as witch doctors who took care of their patient with occultic powers. Practioners of traditional medicine were not in any way seen as doctors; even the western trained doctors saw them as a threat to the well being of their patient. It should be however be noted that before now, quacks bedevilled the Nigerian traditional medicine practice. This was largely due to lack of necessary legislations to control and regulate the practice. But regulation of herbal medicines was introduced in Nigeria in 1993 in Decree No.15 and was revised in 1999. Under this decree herbal medicines are regulated as dietary supplements, health foods, functional foods and as an independent regulatory category (Falodun and Imieje 2013).
Herbal medicine/traditional medicine practice permeates every tribe in Nigeria. In a research involving Eighty nine species, plants belonging to forty six families were identified from fifty respondents, with herbal recipes recorded for thirty five ailments or therapeutic indications/uses. Individual plant species with highest frequency of prescription include Nauclealatifoliaand Pilliostigmathonningii, Ageratum conyzoides, Newlboldialaevis, PhyllanthusmuererianusCochlospermumplanchonii, Ocimumgratissimumand Parkiabiglobosa. (Igoliet al., 2005).
As at 2013, Nigeria had developed phytomedicines from herbal medicines obtained from local traditional healers for ulcers, anaemia, contraception, malaria and HIV, and it now holds patents for some of these medicines in several countries. (Falodun and Imieje 2013).
Traditional medicine needs to be further explored as it still has many untapped therapeutic potentials. Sadly, the custodians of these traditional medicines knowledge are growing old every day and we are gradually losing them. Most of them pass on without passing this precious knowledge to their predecessor or anyone. To salvage this situation, traditional medicine should be embraced, developed to meet modern therapeutic standards and integrated into the healthcare system.
1.3. Plant Description
Newbouldialaevis (Bignoniaceae) is native to tropical Africa and grows from Guinea savannahs to dense forest, or moist and well drained soils (Burkill, 1984). It inhabits the secondary forest extending from Senegal to Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and Angola (Aladesanmiet al., 1998). It is commonly known as African border tree or boundary tree (Gbile and Adesina, 1986).
It is a fast growing evergreen shrub or small tree which grows to the height of about 7-8m in the west and upto 20m in the east of the west African region (Barwick M., 2004).
The bole can be up to 90cm in diameter, but is usually less (Burkill, 1984). It is easily recognized by its short branches, coarsely toothed leaflets and purple and white flowers (Iwu, 1983). It has many streamed forming clumps of gnarled branches (Aladesanmi et al., 1998) it has a shiny dark green leaves. The plant is drought tolerant (Barwick, 2004) hence the hardly die so they are used to indicate boundary marks among the south and south-eastern people of Nigeria (Gill, 1992).
1.3.2 Taxonomic Classification (Gbile, 1986)
Kingdom – Plantae
Subkingdom – Viridaeplantae
Phylum – Tracheophyta
Class – Magnoliopsida
Order – Lamiales
Family – Bignoniaceae
Genus – Newbouldia
Species – Newbouldialaevis
The names of the plant under study from popular Nigerian tubes are also provided below:
English name: Seem or boundary tree (Hutchinson and Dalziel, 1903)
Edo: Ikhimi (Ogunlana and Ogunlana 2008)
1.3.3 Ethnomedicinal Uses
This plant is widely used in African Traditional medicine for various purposes as outlined below;
A decoction of the pounded roots is used in the treatment of intestinal problems and syphilis (Barwick 2004). The roots and barks are used as analgesic and anti-inflamatory to treat arthritis, aching limbs, rheumatic swellings and toothache (Iwu, 2000).
A decoction of the leaves is used to treat ophthalmic conjunctivitis (Burkill 2004). The leaves are cooked in palm-oil soup and taken by pregnant women in order to effect easy delivery and after parturition to promote a rich milk supply (Burkill 2004).
The bark is given in the form of an enema as treatment for constipation and piles and applied extremely to cure a range of skin conditions including septic wounds, abscesses and ulcers and used to treat snake bite. The bark is heated in a little boiling water, it is patted on the head as atreatment for headache (Burkill, 2004).
The plant is also used to treat elephantiasis, dysentery, chest pain, fever, stomach pain; the leaf, stem and fruit may also be used in dressing wound. (Iwu, 2000).
Bafor and Sanni, 2009 reports that the plant leaves is used to stop vaginal bleeding in threatened abortion. The plant stem bark is also credited with aphrodisiac properties and used to treat impotence and infertility while the leaves are also used traditionally to treat diabetes (Owolabiet al., 2011)
It has also been found useful for epilepsy and children’s convulsion (Akunyili, 2000). The roots and leaves are used in the treatment of dysentery, malaria, seizures (Odunbakuet al., 2012).
The bark and twigs are used to treat women pelvic pain, peptic ulcer disease, earache, skin ulcer, epilepsy, hemorrhoids and constipation (Akereleet al., 2011).
1.3.4. Chemical Constituents
The root and root bark phytochemistry show present of alkaloids, quinoid, phenylpropanoid (Gafner et al., 2006).
Phytochemical screening of the stem bark revealed the presence of flavonoids, tannins, saponins and alkaloids with no traces of cyanogenic glycosides (Akereleet al., 2011).
Udeozo et al 2014 reports that preliminary investigations carried out on the flower and root bark of Newbouldialaevis revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenes, steroids and cardiac glycosides.
Phytochemical screening of the ethanolic extract of the leaves shows the presence of coumarins, flavonoids, mucilage and tannins (Bothonet al., 2014).
Phytochemical contents of the ethanolic extracts of the leaves show presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, saponins, glycosides, terpenoids and tannins whereas the stem extract tested positive for only alkaloids, flavonoids and tannins (Anaduaka 2013).
1.4 Summary of Previous Works Done on the Plant
1.4.1 Analgesic and anti-inflammatory screening of NewbouldiaLaevis flower in rodents.
This study investigated the anti-inflamatory effects of the ethanolic flower extract of Newbouldialaevis using Acetic acid-induced writhing in mice and carrageenan-induced hind paw oedema in rats. The results showed that the ethanol extract possessed significant (p<0.001) anti-nociceptive activity between 50 and 200mg/kg intraperitoneally (ip) in rats. These effects compared favourably with that expressed by ketoprofen (10mg/kg i.p.). From the results obtained, although relatively toxic the extract exhibited highest anti-nociceptive and ani-inflamatory activities at the dosage of 200mg/kg (i.p.). these data collaborates with the traditional use of this plant in the treatment of rheumatic pain and other types of pain reported in traditional medicine (Usmanet al., 2008).