Effect of levetiracetam on cognitive functions and quality of life: a one-year follow-up study.
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.
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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
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ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) leads to many undesired problems and complications, including immediate and long-term seizures/epilepsy, changes in mood, behavioral, and personality problems, cognitive and motor deficits, movement disorders, and sleep problems. Clinicians involved in the treatment of patients with acute TBI need to be aware of a number of issues, including the incidence and prevalence of early seizures and post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE), comorbidities associated with seizures and anticonvulsant therapies, and factors that can contribute to their emergence. While strong scientific evidence for early seizure prevention in TBI is available for phenytoin (PHT), other antiepileptic medications, eg, levetiracetam (LEV), are also being utilized in clinical settings. The use of PHT has its drawbacks, including cognitive side effects and effects on function recovery. Rates of recovery after TBI are expected to plateau after a certain period of time. Nevertheless, some patients continue to improve while others deteriorate without any clear contributing factors. Thus, one must ask, 'Are there any actions that can be taken to decrease the chance of post-traumatic seizures and epilepsy while minimizing potential short- and long-term effects of anticonvulsants?' While the answer is 'probably,' more evidence is needed to replace PHT with LEV on a permanent basis. Some have proposed studies to address this issue, while others look toward different options, including other anticonvulsants (eg, perampanel or other AMPA antagonists), or less established treatments (eg, ketamine). In this review, we focus on a comparison of the use of PHT versus LEV in the acute TBI setting and summarize the clinical aspects of seizure prevention in humans with appropriate, but general, references to the animal literature.Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 01/2014; 10:1469-77. · 2.00 Impact Factor
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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