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: 0.9). 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.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tourette syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by the chronic presence of multiple motor tics and at least one vocal/phonic tic for the duration of 1 year. The clinical picture of patients with Tourette syndrome is often complicated by tic-related behavioral problems and associated psychopathology. The pathophysiology of Tourette syndrome is not thoroughly understood, however converging evidence from neuroimaging studies suggests abnormalities within the frontostriatal pathways which are mediated by several neurotransmitters. The pharmacological management of the tic symptoms focuses on the dopaminergic and noradrenergic pathways and aims to improve the health-related quality of life of patients. The most common medications are neuroleptics and atypical antipsychotics, which have a strong D2 blocking action. Also, preliminary studies have documented the efficacy of antiepileptic drugs in controlling tics. Thus far, two anticonvulsants (topiramate and levetiracetam) have been tested with a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled procedure in the treatment of tics. A study has reported an improvement in the control of tics with topiramate. This pharmacological agent was also reported to be well tolerated by the patients. However, the most frequent observed topiramate side effects (such as somnolence, cognitive problems, and weight loss) could not have manifested because of the short trial duration. Levetiracetam has shown conflicting results. A study found significant improvements in the control of tics, also associated with improvement in school performance. These results, however, were not replicated in other studies. Further investigations are therefore needed to assess the real efficacy of antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of tics.
    International Review of Neurobiology 01/2013; 112:373-89. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-411546-0.00012-3 · 2.46 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Quality of life (QOL) assessment in patients with epilepsy (PWE) is increasingly recognized as an important component in the management of epilepsy. The objective of the present study was to assess influence of sociodemographic, clinical and pharmacotherapy characteristics collectively on QOL in adult PWE. This was a cross-sectional, observational study in patients with confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy. QOL was assessed using modified QOLIE-10 questionnaire for epilepsy. Univariate and multiple regression analysis were done to determine factors associated with poor QOL, respectively. There were 451 PWE, with a mean age 27.3 ± 8.15 years, 251 (56%) males and 191 (42%) had monthly income < 5000 Indian national rupees (INR)/month. The QOLIE score was 64.1 ± 15.97 (Mean ± SD). The univariate analysis showed factors such as lower monthly income, focal epilepsy, seizure frequency, antiepileptic drug (AED) polytherapy, conventional AEDs and frequent adverse drug reactions (ADRs) had significant negative influence on various domains of QOLIE-10 questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis showed seizure frequency as a significant predictor of most QOL domains and overall score, while ADRs as a significant predictor of all the domains. Seizure type was a predictive factor for domains like emotional well-being and overall score. Present findings showed patients on monotherapy had better QOL while those having lower monthly income, having focal epilepsy and who received conventional AEDs had negative influence on QOL scores. Further, higher seizure frequency and occurrence of ADRs were significant predictors of all the domains of QOL in PWE.
    11/2014; 5(Suppl 1):S7-S12. DOI:10.4103/0976-3147.145193
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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 08/2014; 10:1469-77. DOI:10.2147/NDT.S50421 · 2.15 Impact Factor