MD, Neurological Institute. University of Bologna, Via Ugo Foscolo 7, 40123 Bologna, Italy.
Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of lamotrigine (LTG) add-on therapy in drug-resistant, partial epilepsy with epileptic drop attacks (EDA) and secondary bilateral synchrony (SBS) on EEG.
Methods: We carried out a single-center, open-label, prospective study on a restricted group of patients experiencing an EDA frequency of at least one/month during the previous year regardless of multiple antiepileptic drug (AED) trials. Study design consisted of three phases: a 3-month baseline period, a 4-month period in which LTG was titrated and a 9-month maintenance dose observational period. LTG add-on therapy depended on valproate (VPA) association, with a maximum of 200 mg/day with VPA and 600 mg/day in the absence of VPA. Every three months, patients underwent clinical, hematological and EEG evaluation including plasma level of AEDs. To assess the efficacy of LTG add-on therapy, patients were required to keep a detailed seizure diary throughout the study.
Results: Fourteen patients (nine men and five women), aged from 21 to 51, were included in the study. All of them had complex partial seizures (CPS), besides EDA, and half of them had secondarily generalized seizures (SGS). Two of the 14 patients had to stop LTG due to side effects, although one of them was seizure-free after LTG. Twelve patients completed the study. The improvement was more than 50% for every type of seizure. SGS disappeared in three cases and improved by more than 50% in another three cases. EDA disappeared in six patients; and improved with more than 50% EDA reduction in five patients. CPS disappeared in two patients and improved by more than 50% in eight. EEG improved in nine cases, with SBS disappearing in six patients.
Conclusions: We have demonstrated a good efficacy of LTG adjunctive therapy on EDA. Results include control of SGS and improvement of EEG tracing.