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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2002 Aug;23(4):225-30.

Levetiracetam in autistic children: an open-label study.

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Department of Pediatrics, Marshall University Joan C Edwards School of Medicine, Huntington, West Virginia, USA.


The objectives of this study were to determine whether autistic children taking levetiracetam (1) showed improvement in the areas of aggression, impulsivity, hyperkinesis, and mood instability, and (2) showed a nootropic response. Ten white autistic boys ranging from 4 to 10 years were compared pretreatment and while taking levetiracetam for an average of 4.1 weeks. Inattention, hyperkinesis, and impulsivity were evaluated using the Achenbach Attention Problems scale, Conners DSM-IV Total scale, and the Conners Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Index scale, all of which showed statistically significant improvements. Mood instability was measured with the Conners Global Index (CGI) Emotional Lability and CGI Total scales, both of which showed statistically significant improvements. Aggressive behavior, as measured with the Achenbach Aggression scale, showed statistically significant improvement only for subjects who were not recently weaned from medications that reduce aggression (e.g., risperidone, carbamazepine, desipramine). Levetiracetam may reduce hyperactivity, impulsivity, mood instability, and aggression in autistic children with these problems. No nootropic effect was observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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