Quantitative EEG (QEEG) effects of therapeutic doses of carbamazepine (CBZ), oxcarbazepine (OXC), valproate (VA) and lamotrigine (LA) monotherapy were investigated in patients with beginning epilepsy. Baseline waking EEG (EEG1) was recorded in the untreated state, the second EEG (EEG2) was done after 8 weeks of reaching the therapeutic dose. Left occipital data were used for analysis. QEEG target parameters were absolute band-power (delta: AD, theta: AT, alpha: AA, beta: AB), and alpha mean frequency (AMF). Group effects (untreated versus treated condition in the CBZ, VA, OXC, LA groups) were computed for each target parameter. One group with benign rolandic epilepsy remained untreated for clinical reasons and served to estimate the QEEG test-retest differences. In addition, the individual QEEG response to each drug was calculated as (EEG2 - EEG1). Results: statistically significant (p < 0.05) group differences indicated the QEEG domain systematically affected by the drugs. CBZ caused AT increase and AMF decrease. OXC caused AMF decrease. VA and LA did not decrease AMF (LA even increased it), but reduced broad-band power. Individual power and AMF changes showed considerable variability in each group. >0.5 Hz AMF decrease (that was reported to predict cognitive impairment in prior studies) occurred in 10/41 patients in the CBZ group but never in the OXC, VA, LA groups. The results may be utilized in planning further studies addressing the relationship between antiepileptic drugs and their CNS effects. In addition, the relationship of AED-related cognitive impairment and AMF changes was discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology