Research Interest

My current research interest is in the short and long-term effects of khat (Catha edulis Forsk), a plant with pyschostimulant properties widely used along eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. I am also involved in International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) African Neuroscience Schools to promote teaching and research in Africa. With Dr. Andreas Kopf, I edited a manual on "Guide to Pain Management in Low Resource Setting" available in English, Portugese, and French and freely downloadable from the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) website (see links).

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Nyongesa, AW, Patel N, Wango EO, Onyango DW.  2017.  High khat dose and long-term exposure impairs spermatogenesis: experimental study using rabbit model. J. Morphol. Sci. 34(3):156-167.morphology_paper.pdf
Tamimi, IFM, Patel NB.  2017.  Open field ethogram and olfactory preference in naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glabus). , 2017. Society of Neuroscientists of Africa. , Entebbe, Ugandaimaan_-_sona_poster__27_may_2017.pdf
Kilekwang, L, Patel NB.  2017.  Catha edulis Forsk (khat) induces conditioned place preference in mice, 11 June 2017. Society of Neuroscientists of Africa. cpp_poster.pdf


Kimani, ST, Patel NB, Kioy PG.  2016.  Memory deficits associated with khat (Catha edulis) use in rodents. Metab Brain Dis. 31(1):45-52.kimani2015.pdf


Patel, NB.  2015.  Natural Amphetamineā€¯ Khat: A Cultural Tradition or a Drug of Abuse?. International Review of Neurobiology, Vol. 120. , Burlington: Academic Press


Patel, NB.  2014.  Neurobiology of Khat (Catha edulis Forsk). Neglected Tropical Diseases and Conditions of the Nervous System. , New York: Springer
Bentivoglio, M, Cavalherio EA, Kristensson K, Patel NB.  2014.  Neglected Tropical Diseases and Conditions of the Nervous System. : Springerproductflyer_978-1-4614-8099-0-1.pdf


Kariuki, HN, Kanui TI, Yenesew A, Patel N, PM MPM.  2013.  . Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Toddalia asiatica (L) Lam. (Rutaceae) root extract in Swiss albino mice. Pan African Medical journal. 14:133.
Mercy Y. Akinyi, Jenny Tung, Maamun Jeneby, Nilesh B. Patel, Jeanne Altmann, Alberts SC.  2013.  Role of grooming in reducing tick load in wild baboons (Papio cynocephalus). Animal Behavior. 85:559-568.


Kariuki, HN;, Kanui TI;, Yenesew A;, Patel NB;, Mbugua PM.  2012.  Antinocieptive activity of Toddalia asiatica (L) Lam. in models of central and peripheral pain. Phytopharmacology. 3(1):122-129.
R.M.J. Deacon, T.D. Dulu, Patel NB.  2012.  Naked mole-rats: Behavioural phenotyping and comparison with C57BL/6 mice. Behavioural Brain Research. 231:193-200.
Kariuki, HN;, Kanui, Titus, et al.  2012.  Antinocieptive activity of the root extracts of Rhus natalensis Kraus and Senna singueana. Phytopharmacology. 2(2):312-317.



Kopf, A, Patel NB.  2009.  Guide it Pain Management in Low Resource Settings. : International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
Patel, NB.  2009.  Physiology of Pain. Guide to Pain Management in Low Resource Settings. : IASP
Patel, NB.  2009.  Physiology of Pain. Guide to Pain Management in Low Resource Settings. , washington, USA: International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)chapter_3_physiology_of_pain_.pdf
Oyungu E, Kioy PG, PNB.  2009.  Proconvulsant effect of khat (Catha edulis) in Sprague dawley rats. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 121(3):476-8.oyungu_et_al_j_ethnopharmacol_2009.pdf


Oyungu, E, Kioy PG, Patel NB.  2008.  Proconvulsant effect of khat (Catha edulis) in Sprague dawley rats. Abstract

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Catha edulis (khat) is a plant whose fresh young leaves are used by an estimated five million people in eastern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as a drug of recreation. The fresh leaves and shoots are rich in cathinone, a psychostimulant with effects similar to those of amphetamines. Psychostimulants produce a dose-related excitation of the central nervous system which can lead to seizures and convulsions. However there are no reports on studies of the effect of this herb on brain excitability and seizures. This knowledge is useful for doctors who may prescribe drugs whose side effects include lowering seizure threshold because there could be additive proconvulsant effectamongkhat users. Aim of the study: to determined whether khat lowers pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) seizure threshold. Methodology: Male Sprague dawley rats were given fresh aqueous khat extract, old aqueous khat extract (3 g/kg bw), methylphenidate or saline and the timed intravenous (PTZ) seizure threshold test was used to study its effect on seizure threshold. Results: Fresh khat (3 g/kg) and methylphenidate (4 mg/kg) lowered PTZ seizure threshold. Conclusion: Khat lowers seizure threshold.

Kimani, ST;, Patel NB;, Kioy PG.  2008.  Effect of single and daily khat (Catha edulis) extract on locomotor behaviour in CBA mice. Scientific Research and Essay. 3(5):187-196.
Nyongesa A. W., Patel NB, et al.  2008.  Khat (Catha edulis) lowers plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone secretion, but increases cortisol levels in male rabbits. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 116(2):245-250.




Patel, NB; Kioy, PG; UGFRPF; S;, Kalaria RN;, Kioy PG;, Kariuki M;, Unverzagt F;, Hendrie H;, Gatere S;, Freidland RP.  2000.  High APOE e 4 allele frequency in elderly Kikuyus in Kenya.
Patel, NB.  2000.  Mechanism of action of cathinone, the active ingredient of khat (catha edulis). East African Medical Journal. 77:329-332.


Walters, R.S, N.B. P.  1999.  Promoting neurosicence research in Kenya: What can we do as a neuroscience community? Internal. J. Neuroscience. :1-2.


Kalaria, RN, Ogengo, J.A., Patel NB, et al.  1997.  Evaluation of risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease in elderly East Africans. Brain Research Bulletin. 44:573-577.kalaria1997.pdf
Sayi, JG, Patel, NB, et al.  1997.  Apolipoprotein E polymorphism in elderly East Africans. East African Medical Journal. 74:65-67.


Patel, NB.  1994.  Nitric oxide: A new biological messenger. East African Medical Journal. 17:75-76.


Patel, NB.  1986.  Reversible inhibition of neurite growth by focal electric currents. Prog Clin Biol Res. 210:271-278.


Patel, NB, XZ-p, et al.  1985.  Response of nerve growth cone to focal electric currents. J. Neuroscience Res. 13:245-256.


Patel, Nilesh; Poo, M-ming.  1984.  Perturbation of neurite growth by pulsed and focal electric fields. J. Neuroscience. 4:2939-2947.


Patel, Nilesh; Poo, M-ming.  1982.  Orientation of neurite growth by extracellular electric fields. J. Neuroscience. 2:483-496.

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