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Changes in neuronal activity induced by new psychoactive substances following prolonged exposure

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Zwartsen et al. investigated the effects of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and illicit drugs on neuronal activity after acute (30 min) and prolonged (5 h) exposure using rat primary cortical cultures grown on multi-well microelectrode arrays. During acute exposure, all compounds concentration-dependently decreased neuronal activity. Prolonged exposure did not further decrease neuronal activity. To investigate the reversibility of effects, activity was also measured after a washout period of 19 hours. Neuronal activity (partly) recovers after washout following exposure to most drugs, it is however perturbing that complete recovery of neuronal activity is observed only for a minority of the tested drugs (NeuroToxicology).