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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Levetiracetam may be more effective for late-onset partial epilepsy.

BACKGROUND: Many agents are available for treating epilepsy; however, population studies have failed to show overall differences in efficacy for a given seizure type. Clinical experience suggests that certain individuals will respond to a given agent while others with the same seizure type will not. OBJECTIVES: To examine a population of patients who received one of the newer antiepileptic drugs, levetiracetam, and to identify those who had either a dramatic improvement or a significant worsening of seizures. METHODS: Retrospective medical record review of patients with refractory epilepsy. RESULTS: Patients who responded well to levetiracetam therapy were older at the onset of epileptic seizure than those who did not (mean [SD] age, 51 [5] vs 27 [3] years; P<.05). This was also true of the subset of patients who had localization-related epilepsy. Patients with temporal lobe onset were likely to do well whereas patients with frontal lobe onset were not. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that certain subpopulations may be particularly likely to respond to levetiracetam therapy. These need to be confirmed in a larger prospective trial; however, looking for specific characteristics of patients who respond to certain drugs may lead to useful guidelines for drug choices in treating epilepsy.[1]


  1. Levetiracetam may be more effective for late-onset partial epilepsy. Bazil, C.W., Rose, A., Resor, S., Yapicular, B., Hirsch, L.J. Arch. Neurol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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