Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Two UC Davis Studies Show Promising Single-drug Therapy For Hard-to-control Epilepsy

Date:
December 9, 2003
Source:
University Of California, Davis - Medical Center
Summary:
Two studies by physicians at UC Davis Medical Center have found that levetiracetam, an antiepileptic drug typically used in combination with other drugs, is effective as a single therapy for adult and elderly patients.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Two studies by physicians at UC Davis Medical Center have found that levetiracetam, an antiepileptic drug typically used in combination with other drugs, is effective as a single therapy for adult and elderly patients. The studies, presented today at the American Epilepsy Association conference in Boston, are significant because single-drug therapy is a much easier course of treatment and may be an option for some 13 million epilepsy patients worldwide who currently use multiple medications to control epileptic seizures.

Related Articles


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures, which are recurring disturbances in the normal electrical function of the brain. The causes of epilepsy are only partially understood.

"We found that levetiracetam monotherapy can be effective and well-tolerated in adults with new onset and difficult-to-control epilepsy and that most patients were able to remain seizure-free at one-year follow-up," said Taoufik M. Alsaadi, assistant professor of neurology and director of the UC Davis Epilepsy Treatment Center at UC Davis.

The UC Davis study compared the efficacy of levetiracetam at one year to a 6-month study conducted previously at the UC Davis Epilepsy Treatment Center. The one-year study included 30 patients, ages 18-91, with a history of partial seizures over a period of one to 30 years. Six patients began levetiracetam as first-line therapy.

Twenty-four patients converted to levetiracetam monotherapy after failing prior antiepileptic medications, such as phenytoin sodium, carbamazepine, divalproex sodium, lamotrigine and topiramate.

After one year on levetiracetam, 16 of 30 patients (53 percent) were seizure-free. Four patients had more than a 75 percent reduction in seizures. Seven patients experienced more than a 50 percent reduction in seizures. Two patients had more than a 25 percent, but less than a 50 percent reduction in seizures, and one patient had no significant change in the frequency of seizure.

"Most patients who took keppra for six months continued to benefit from the therapy after one year," Alsaadi said. "This treatment shows promise for improving the quality of life for people suffering from epilepsy, but a larger, double-blind study is needed to confirm findings."

In the study of seniors, UC Davis researchers assessed how well patients could tolerate levetiracetam. Elderly patients have increased sensitivity to the effects of antiepileptic drugs. To investigate efficacy and tolerability of the medication, researchers identified 33 patients for a retrospective study. Of those, 15 patients, ages 62 to 92, began levetiracetam either as first-line therapy or were converted to levetiracetam monotherapy after failing other antiepileptic medications. The duration of epilepsy ranged from 1 to 39 years.

Six patients had an identifiable cause to their seizures: three had seizures secondary to head trauma, two experienced strokes and one had seizures resulting from Alzheimer's disease. Researchers noted each patient's seizure type and frequency for two months before and then six months following levetiracetam monotherapy.

Of 15 patients, eight became seizure-free. Three patients had more than a 75 percent reduction in seizures and three patients had more than a 50 percent reduction in seizures. One patient didn't continue with follow-up.

One patient reported dizziness within days after starting levetiracetam, but was able to continue on the medication. No other side effects were reported.

"We found that levetiracetam may be an acceptable choice for the elderly," Alsaadi said. "We didn't see the usual side effects associated with the older antiepileptic drugs."

UCB Pharma, a global pharmaceutical company based in Belgium, manufactures levetiracetam under the commercial name Keppra TM.

The study was funded by the UC Davis Epilepsy Treatment Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, Davis - Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, Davis - Medical Center. "Two UC Davis Studies Show Promising Single-drug Therapy For Hard-to-control Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031209075616.htm>.
University Of California, Davis - Medical Center. (2003, December 9). Two UC Davis Studies Show Promising Single-drug Therapy For Hard-to-control Epilepsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031209075616.htm
University Of California, Davis - Medical Center. "Two UC Davis Studies Show Promising Single-drug Therapy For Hard-to-control Epilepsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/12/031209075616.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins