Effect of levetiracetam on cognitive functions and quality of life: a one-year follow-up study.

Department of Neurology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona Spain.
Epileptic disorders: international epilepsy journal with videotape (Impact Factor: 1.17). 01/2009; 10(4):297-305. DOI: 10.1684/epd.2008.0227
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of the study was to assess changes in cognitive functions and quality of life in patients with epilepsy over one year of treatment with levetiracetam (LEV) as add-on therapy.
Thirty-two patients (16 women; 16 men) who received LEV as an add-on treatment were included, and 27 completed the one-year follow-up period. Extensive neuropsychological assessments, together with a quality-of-life questionnaire were administered at baseline and at one, three, six and twelve months after beginning the add-on treatment. Patients received LEV starting with 500 mg/day in the first week, increasing by a further 500 mg/day per week until a target dose of 2 000 mg/day was reached by the end of the first month.
At the one-year follow-up, a significant improvement was observed in measurements of prospective memory, working memory, motor functions, verbal fluency, attention and quality of life. Performance for neuropsychological and quality-of-life tests was not affected by external variables such as seizure reduction or changes in previous anti-epileptic treatment. Slight changes between patients were observed, but these were not clinically significant.The limited sample size and the lack of a control group should be mentioned as limitations of the study. No control group was evaluated as in our clinical practice it was difficult to establish a comparable group of patients. Changes in the different variables were assessed by comparing baseline information with follow-up results.Despite the study limitations, we consider that the one-year treatment period provides valuable information regarding the drug's long-term effects in this setting.
Results of the present study suggest that long-term LEV treatment as add-on therapy does not interfere with cognitive function and improves quality of life.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Treatment of high-grade glioma (HGG) patients with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) has met with various side effects, such as cognitive deterioration. The cognitive effects of both older and newer AEDs in HGG patients are largely unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of older and newer AEDs on cognitive performance in postoperative HGG patients.Methods We selected HGG patients from 3 separate cohorts for use of older, newer, or no AEDs, as they represented distinct treatment eras and provided the opportunity to compare older and newer AEDs. In all 3 cohorts, patients were included within 6 weeks following neurosurgery before the start of postoperative treatment. Cognitive functioning was evaluated by an extensive neuropsychological assessment, executed in 6 cognitive domains (attention, executive functioning, verbal memory, working memory, psychomotor functioning, and information processing speed).ResultsOne hundred seventeen patients met the inclusion criteria; 44 patients used no AED, 35 were on monotherapy with a newer AED (all levetiracetam), and 38 were on monotherapy with an older AED (valproic acid or phenytoin). Patients on older and newer AEDs performed equally well as patients not on an AED, and patients on levetiracetam performed even better on verbal memory tests than patients not on an AED. Post-hoc analyses revealed that within the group using older AEDs, patients on valproic acid performed better than patients on phenytoin.Conclusions Neither levetiracetam nor valproic acid was associated with additional cognitive deficits in HGG patients. Both AEDs even appeared to have a beneficial effect on verbal memory in these patients.
    Neuro-Oncology 12/2012; · 6.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate the change of health related quality of life (HRQoL), anxiety and depression in adult patients in whom an adjunctive treatment with levetiracetam (LEV) was converted to a LEV monotherapy. A prospective, open, investigator initiated multicenter study enrolled 140 patients in whom LEV was added to the existing antiepileptic medication. A total of 65 patients who benefited from the 16-week add-on treatment with LEV (≥50% seizure reduction) were converted to LEV monotherapy (16-week follow-up). In LEV responders, HRQoL, anxiety and depression improved after add-on of LEV. The subsequent conversion to LEV monotherapy did not lead to a significant change in HRQoL, anxiety and depression. However, comparing baseline with LEV monotherapy, the improvements remained significant for most dimensions of HRQoL and for anxiety and depression. Patients' ratings of efficacy of LEV were related with their HRQoL after the conversion to monotherapy. Add-on therapy of LEV improved HRQoL, anxiety and depression in LEV responders. Conversion to a LEV monotherapy did not inevitably improve HRQoL in LEV responders, but the positive effect was maintained in the majority of the patients. The effects were highly related to seizure reduction.
    Epilepsy research 09/2012; · 2.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Effective treatment of epilepsy depends on medication compliance across a lifetime, and studies indicate that drug tolerability is a significant limiting factor in medication maintenance. Available antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) have the potential to exert detrimental effects on cognitive function and therefore compromise patient wellbeing. On the other hand, some agents may serve to enhance cognitive function. In this review paper, we highlight the range of effects on cognition linked to a variety of newer and older AEDs, encompassing key alterations in both specific executive abilities and broader neuropsychological functions. Importantly, the data reviewed suggest that the effects exerted by an AED could vary depending on both patient characteristics and drug-related variables. However, there are considerable difficulties in evaluating the available evidence. Many studies have failed to investigate the influence of patient and treatment variables on cognitive functioning. Other difficulties include variation across studies in relation to design, treatment group and assessment tools, poor reporting of methodology and poor specification of the cognitive abilities assessed. Focused and rigorous experimental designs including a range of cognitive measures assessing more precisely defined abilities are needed to fill the gaps in our knowledge and follow up reported patterns in the literature. Longitudinal studies are needed to improve our understanding of the influence of factors such as age, tolerance and the stability of cognitive effects. Future trials comparing the effects of commonly prescribed agents across patient subgroups will offer critical insight into the role of patient characteristics in determining the cognitive impact of particular AEDs.
    Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders 11/2011; 4(6):385-407.