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Pediatr Neurol. 2012 Jul;47(1):65-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2012.04.002.

Levetiracetam-induced reversible autistic regression.

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  • 1Section of Pediatric Neurology, Department of Neurology, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.


Levetiracetam is a commonly prescribed antiepileptic drug, and is generally well tolerated, but can eventually cause behavioral disturbances. These disturbances seem more frequent in children and in patients with a previous psychiatric history. We report on reversible autistic regression induced by levetiracetam in a 6-year-old girl with spastic cerebral palsy, mild cognitive deficiency, and focal epilepsy. She was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, and demonstrated mild to moderate impairment in pragmatic language and interactions with peers. After the introduction of levetiracetam, she developed stereotypies, and her social and communicative skills deteriorated severely. She also exhibited mood lability. When the medication was discontinued, a dramatic response occurred, with a complete resolution of new abnormal findings. Levetiracetam can provoke unusual behavioral adverse effects in certain patients who are biologically more vulnerable.

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