Cognitive effects of topiramate, gabapentin,
and lamotrigine in healthy young adults

Martin R, Kuzniecky R, Ho S, Hetherington H,
Pan J, Sinclair K, Gilliam F, Faught E
University of Alabama at Birmingham Epilepsy Center,
Department of Neurology,
University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294-0021, USA.
Neurology 1999 Jan 15; 52(2):321-7


OBJECTIVE: To study the acute and steady-state cognitive effects of three new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs): gabapentin, lamotrigine, and topiramate. BACKGROUND: Several newer antiepileptic medications approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration are gaining attention as efficacious alternatives to established AEDs. Greater tolerability with fewer side effects are reported in some. However, the potential cognitive effects of these newer AEDs have received limited attention. METHODS: Healthy young adults randomized to either of the three drugs were administered tests of attention, psychomotor speed, language, memory, and mood at baseline (predrug), acute single-dose period, and after 2 and 4 weeks on the drug. RESULTS: Compared with baseline, the topiramate group had selective, statistically significant declines on measures of attention and word fluency at acute doses, whereas the other two AED groups had no performance changes. At the 2- and 4-week test periods, only the topiramate subjects continued to display neurocognitive effects from drug administration. CONCLUSIONS: Results demonstrate potential acute and steady-state adverse cognitive effects for topiramate, whereas minimal effects were displayed for either gabapentin or lamotrigine in young healthy adults.
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