Once again, just combine the new findings below with my previous findings and/or postings in other threads last year regarding levetiracetam.
My point being? There is hope on the horizon here, folks! The fact that the below studies are not directly related to MS aren't all that significant. We all know the cross-overs between neuro diseases and how AEDs are helpful in MS anyway.
And what can I say? As I speculated before........COMBINE levetiracetam with desipramine (like I take), which the two together are highly synergistic, and what possible beneficial effects might be obtained in MS?
Here is a reminder (as I have recently relayed to some researchers the other day):
...."I haven't looked for a while to see what was happening with research on levetiracetam (Keppra), so I checked this morning. Hoorah! They are finding the same things I said I found after taking Keppra! See abstracts below.
The three unexpected things I was the first to notice and alerted you guys to: drastic improvement in cognitive function (someone else finally noticed the racetam in it - it's about time!); reduction of tremor and involuntary movement (although at the time I wasn't certain if that was Keppra that helped that with me or desipramine. It appears it was probably Keppra after all.); and mood stabilization. Not to mention what that Texas doctor already found with her use in MS patients: the excellent improvement with pain, stiffness and spasticity. I also found that it virtually completely corrected balance problems, too; and even helped to relieve my headaches (both of which were surprising). ...
...You gotta admit, though, guys, it's a little coincidental, isn't it, that my claims about levetiracetam and its symptomatic relief that were unknown at the time are now being supported by clinical research?? It'd be kinda hard for me to have made it all up, ya know. I just notice the small details. ...."
Epilepsy Res. 2005 Dec 2; [Epub ahead of print]
Levetiracetam: An improvement of attention and of oral fluency in patients with partial epilepsy.
Piazzini A, Chifari R, Canevini MP, Turner K, Fontana SP, Canger R.
Regional Epilepsy Center, S. Paolo Hospital, University of Milan, Via A. Di Rudini 8, 20142 Milan, Italy.
PURPOSE: The aim of the present study is to verify whether patients with partial epilepsy receiving levetiracetam (LEV) as an add-on treatment show an improvement in cognitive function. METHODS: A neuropsychological battery of tests was administered to 35 patients with partial epilepsy before the assumption of LEV and after the achievement of the therapeutical dose of this drug, 7 weeks later. A control group of 35 patients with partial epilepsy was administered the same battery of tests twice, at the same time interval as the LEV group. The controls were administered the same pharmacological treatment, which did not include LEV in either of the two sessions. RESULTS: We found a statistically significant improvement in cognitive functioning, i.e. in attention and oral fluency, in patients receiving LEV compared to the controls. The responders to LEV were 28.6%. CONCLUSIONS: LEV as an add-on therapy improved attention level and verbal fluency in our sample of patients with partial epilepsy. It is reasonable to assume that LEV may influence the metabolism of attention and of language area, as already suggested for piracetam (PIR) from which LEV derives. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.
PMID: 16332430 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Clin Neuropharmacol. 2005 Nov-Dec;28(6):280-4.
Efficacy of levetiracetam in huntington disease.
de Tommaso M, Di Fruscolo O, Sciruicchio V, Specchio N, Cormio C, De Caro MF, Livrea P.
From the Department of Neurological and Psychiatric Sciences, University of Bari, Italy.
OBJECTIVE:: Levetiracetam (LEV) is a novel antiepileptic drug characterized by a wide spectrum of action; no pharmacologic interaction and poor adverse events are reported. In animal models, effects of LEV are observed in basal ganglia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of LEV in reducing involuntary movements in subjects affected by Huntington disease (HD). METHODS:: This was a single-center, short-term, open-label, controlled study. Patients had LEV as add-on therapy for 6 months. In the first visit patients were rated according to the Unified Huntington Disease Rating Scale. Every 2 months they were submitted to all these tests. LEV was added at the dose of 500 mg twice daily for the first 2 months and then the dosage was increased until 1000 mg twice daily for the next 4 more months. The authors enrolled 22 patients: 15 were assigned to the LEV group and 7 were enrolled as control subjects. RESULTS:: No serious adverse events were experienced by the treated patients. After 6 months of treatment patients on LEV showed a significant reduction of involuntary movements, with a slight improvement of functional capacity compared with the control group. CONCLUSION:: Results of this short-term, prospective, controlled study indicates that in HD patients, LEV is effective in reducing involuntary movements, thus improving the quality of life.
PMID: 16340384 [PubMed - in process]
J Psychopharmacol. 2005 Sep;19(5):551-3.
Related Articles, Links
Levetiracetam in social phobia: a placebo controlled pilot study.
Zhang W, Connor KM, Davidson JR.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
While serotonergic antidepressants are now established as first-line pharamcotherapy for generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD), other agents with different mechanisms have shown promise in treating SAD. The aim of this pilot study is to examine the efficacy and safety of levetiracetam (LEV), an anticonvulsant with calcium channel modulating properties, in treating SAD. Adult outpatients meeting DSM-IV criteria for SAD were randomly assigned (2:1) to double-blind treatment with either LEV (500-3000 mg/day) or placebo (PBO) for 7 weeks. The primary outcome measures were the change from baseline in the Brief Social Phobia Scale (BSPS) and response using the Clinical Global Impression of Improvement scale (CGI-I). The mean (SD) BSPS scores at baseline and endpoint were 45.4 (9.7) and 31.2 (19.7) for LEV (n=9), compared to 43.5 (8.4) and 37.8 (19.9) for PBO (n =7) (ITT; ns). Rates of response were 22% for LEV and 14% for PBO using the CGI-I. Using a BSPS response criterion (>30% reduction), response rates were 44% for LEV and 14% for PBO. The effect sizes of LEV relative to PBO were 0.33 for the BSPS and 0.50 for the LSAS. In summary, the results of this study, while negative on the pre-defined measures, suggest promise for LEV as a new treatment of SAD. Further work should be carried out with larger sample sizes and optimal dosing strategies of the drug.
Randomized Controlled Trial
PMID: 16166192 [PubMed - in process]
[/i]Mov Disord. 2005 Nov 9; [Epub ahead of print] Related Articles, Links
Clinical analysis in familial cortical myoclonic tremor allows differential diagnosis with essential tremor.
Bourdain F, Apartis E, Trocello JM, Vidal JS, Masnou P, Vercueil L, Vidailhet M.
Department of Neurology, Hopital Saint-Antoine, Paris, France.
Familial cortical myoclonic tremor (FCMT) is a rare disorder often leading to a wrong clinical diagnosis of essential tremor. Electrophysiological data are usually considered to allow a correct diagnosis. We describe a FCMT French family with previously unreported clinical features such as sensitivity to glucose deprivation, vibration, repetitive visual patterns, and intense visual or auditory stimulation and contrasts. Electrophysiological studies of the propositus confirm the cortical reflex myoclonus elicited by photic stimulation and the absence of epileptic electroencephalographic discharges. We emphasize that a precise clinical analysis can lead to a correct diagnosis before electrophysiological confirmation. This is also the first-ever report of efficacy of levetiracetam in FCMT. (c) 2005 Movement Disorder Society.
PMID: 16281296 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]