Chapter

Anticonvulsants and memory

Joanne Taylor and Gus A. Baker

in Epilepsy and Memory

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580286
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739408 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580286.003.0023
Anticonvulsants and memory

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People with epilepsy not only report subjective cognitive complaints, but they also demonstrate poorer performance on objective neuropsychological tests when compared to those without the condition. A number of studies have shown reduced memory and learning, attention, and concentration problems, slower information processing, language deficits, and executive dysfunction. This chapter reviews the evidence in respect of the specific effects of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on memory functioning. Despite between twenty-five and thirty years documenting the effects of antiepileptic drug medication, no definitive conclusions have been drawn in respect to the impact of individual AEDs on memory functioning. However, there is growing evidence that suggests that many of the newer antiepileptic drugs — used as monotherapy and given at therapeutic ranges — are unlikely to produce significant cognitive problems, although there are some exceptions, for example, topiramate and zonisamide.

Keywords: epilepsy; antiepileptic drugs; memory function; topiramate; zonisamide

Chapter.  6880 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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