Purpose. 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. Methods. 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. Results. 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. Conclusions. 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.
- Cognitive functions
- Quality of life