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Neurology. 2006 Aug 8;67(3):400-6.

Cognitive effects of lamotrigine compared with topiramate in patients with epilepsy.

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  • 1GlaxoSmithKline, Five Moore Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.



To compare the cognitive effects of lamotrigine vs topiramate as adjunctive therapy in adults with epilepsy.


A multicenter, double-blind, randomized, prospective study was conducted in adults with partial seizures. Lamotrigine or topiramate was introduced as an adjunctive therapy to carbamazepine or phenytoin and titrated over 8 weeks to target doses. These drugs were maintained another 8 weeks (maintenance phase) without dosage changes. The primary endpoint was change from screening to the end of the maintenance phase in a combined analysis of standardized measures of cognition (Controlled Oral Word Association Task [COWA]; Stroop Color-Word Interference; Digit Cancellation; Lafayette Grooved Pegboard, dominant hand; Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, delayed recall; and Symbol-Digit Modalities test).


For the primary endpoint, cognitive performance at the end of the maintenance phase was better with lamotrigine than with topiramate (415.3 vs 315.1; p < 0.001). On the individual cognitive tests, performance was better with lamotrigine than with topiramate in mean changes from screening on the COWA (p < 0.001), Stroop Color-Word Interference (p = 0.038), and Symbol-Digit Modalities tests (p < 0.001). The treatment effect exceeded the minimum clinically important difference for the COWA and the Symbol-Digit Modalities test. Mean changes from screening in the Performance-On-Line test simulating driving skills reflected better performance with lamotrigine than with topiramate (p = 0.021). The median percentage change from baseline in seizure frequency was lower with lamotrigine than with topiramate during the escalation phase (-80% vs -100%; p = 0.028) but not during the maintenance phase (-75% vs -100%; p = 0.062). The frequencies of cognitive adverse events and of premature withdrawals related to cognitive decline were higher with topiramate than with lamotrigine (6% vs 0%; p = 0.013).


Lamotrigine had significantly less impact than topiramate on measures of cognition when used as adjunctive therapy for partial seizures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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