Impact of levetiracetam add-on therapy on different EEG occipital frequencies in epileptic patients

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Summary: The EEG background activity reflects the functional state of the brain. The established sensitivity of EEG to drug intoxication and in particular to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) made that EEG has become useful as an objective measure for monitoring chronic AED therapy and in investigation of cognitive functions. Therapy with classical AEDs has become associated with slowing of EEG background rhythm and the EEG changes correlated to changes on cognitive measures. So far, it has not been tested whether the relatively new AED, levetiracetam (LEV) has a detrimental effect on the EEG background frequencies, too. Methods: During the time of 6 months 28 patients underwent EEG-recording and neuropsychological testing at the three timepoints: before initiating LEV therapy, after 2 months and again after 4 months after achieving plateau dosing of LEV. EEG background frequency was analysed by using the fast Fourier Transform (FFT). Results: The titration and the following treatment with LEV add-on showed no negative effect on any of the measures analysed. In particular it did not lead to the lower peak frequency within the alpha band, it neither decreased the percentage of alpha band nor increase the percentage of theta and delta band. In addition there could be noticed an increase of the percentage of beta band. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate, that a LEV add-on therapy is not associated with a slowing of the EEG background frequency. This is in accordance with neuropsychological reports of our own lab and others showing that LEV add-on therapy has no negative effects on cognitive functions, either. © 2009 British Epilepsy Association.




Veauthier, J., Haettig, H., & Meencke, H. J. (2009). Impact of levetiracetam add-on therapy on different EEG occipital frequencies in epileptic patients. Seizure, 18(6), 392–395.

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