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Epilepsy Behav. 2012 May;24(1):44-8. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.02.024. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

The effect of levetiracetam on focal nocturnal epileptiform activity during sleep--a placebo-controlled double-blind cross-over study.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Oslo University Hospital, Norway.


Electric Status Epilepticus during Sleep (ESES) occurs in children with and without epilepsy. It may be related to disturbances as autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and acquired aphasia (Landau-Kleffner syndrome). Antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment has been reported in small studies without placebo control. This study was designed to assess AED effect in a placebo-controlled double-blind cross-over study. Levetiracetam (LEV) was chosen based on clinical evidence. Eighteen patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The mean spike index at baseline was 56, falling to a mean of 37 at the end of the LEV treatment period. Assessed with a 2-way ANOVA, there is a significant treatment effect (p<0.0002). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first placebo-controlled double-blind cross-over study for any AED in patients with ESES. The effect of LEV is comparable with its effect in treatment of epileptic seizures.

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