The effect of curcumin, a dietary antioxidant was studied against kainic acid (KA)-induced seizures and on markers of oxidative stress. Rats were administered KA (10 mg/kg, ip) and observed for behavioral changes, incidence and latency of convulsions and mortality over four hours. The rats were thereafter sacrificed for estimation of oxidative stress parameters; malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH). Curcumin was administered 30 min before KA at doses of 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, ip. KA induced long-lasting seizures and associated symptoms. The brain level of MDA was significantly (P < 0.05) raised after KA administration (536 +/- 44 nmol/g wet tissue) as compared to saline treated group (200 +/- 36 nmol/g wet tissue) and significantly decreased the levels of GSH. Pretreatment with curcumin (100 and 200 mg/kg, ip) significantly increased the latency of seizures (120 + 20 min and 11 5+/- 5.7 min respectively) as compared to the vehicle treated KA group. Curcumin (100 and 200 mg/ kg, ip) significantly prevented the increase in MDA levels and ameliorated the fall in glutathione. Curcumin at the dose of 50 mg/kg had no effect on any of oxidative stress parameters. The study reports the potential antiepileptic effect of antioxidant curcumin.