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Effects Of Gabapentin And Carbamazepine On The Eeg And Cognition In Healthy Volunteers.

Guest allan

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1: Epilepsia., 2002 May;43(5):482-90.

Effects of gabapentin and carbamazepine on the EEG and cognition in healthy volunteers.

Salinsky MC, Binder LM, Oken BS, Storzbach D, Aron CR, Dodrill CB.

Oregon Health Sciences University Epilepsy Center, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA. Salinsky@OHSU.edu

PURPOSE: Antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy can be associated with neurotoxic side effects including cognitive dysfunction. Objective methods for detection of neurotoxicity in individual patients would be useful. We studied the effects of gabapentin (GBP) and carbamazepine (CBZ) on neurophysiologic and cognitive/behavioral measures in healthy volunteers. METHODS: In a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study of CBZ and GBP in healthy volunteers, 23 subjects completed the protocol. All achieved the target dose of 1,200 mg CBZ or 3,600 mg GBP. A structured EEG for quantitative analysis and a cognitive test battery were administered before AED therapy and again after 12 weeks of therapy. Test-retest differences were compared with those of 72 untreated control subjects. RESULTS: Both CBZ and GBP significantly decreased the peak frequency of the posterior (alpha) rhythm, with CBZ exerting a greater effect. Ten CBZ and six GBP subjects exceeded the 95% confidence interval (CI) for an individual. Cognitive tests revealed AED vs. control group effects for two of seven measures (Digit Symbol, Stroop) and all subjective measures. However, few subjects exceeded the 95% CI for any objective test. Differences between CBZ and GBP were not significant. Greater EEG slowing was associated with greater subjective neurotoxicity and poorer test-retest performance on a cognitive test summary measure. CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged CBZ and GBP therapy induced EEG slowing that correlated with cognitive complaints and often exceeded the confidence interval for individual subjects. Quantitative EEG measures may be useful in the objective determination of AED-related neurotoxicity.

Publication Types:

Clinical Trial,

Comparative Study ,

Randomized Controlled Trial,

Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't ,

MeSH Terms:

Acetic Acids/pharmacology*,

Acetic Acids/therapeutic use,



Alpha Rhythm/drug effects,


Anticonvulsants/adverse effects,


Anticonvulsants/therapeutic use,

Brain/drug effects*,


Carbamazepine/therapeutic use,

Cognition/drug effects*,

Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids*,

Dose-Response Relationship, Drug,

Double-Blind Method,

Drug Administration Schedule,

Electroencephalography/drug effects*,

Epilepsy/drug therapy,



Middle Aged,

Neuropsychological Tests/statistics & numerical data,

Regression Analysis,

gamma-Aminobutyric Acid*,


Acetic Acids,



Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids,


gamma-Aminobutyric Acid,


PMID: 12027908 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




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  • HadIt.com Elder

I take 300 x 3 or 900 mg a day of gabapentin. I do not know what I would do without it. 3600 a day is a pretty large dose although there are short periods of time I took doses like that.

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Hello Pete,

when I took Gabapentin last, I was on 2700mg daily. It helped the pain, but I couldn't tolerate the side effects.

I'm glad it helps you & it's good to know some of these things work.

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I take 3600 mg of Gabentin along with 1800 mg of Trileptal (another anti-seziure med) and Cymbalta 3 x's a day for central nerve damage due to stroke. The side effects are tremendous. I do no know how my family puts up with me. However, it does take my 24/7 pain from a 10 to about a 7 so I do get some benefit. Doc says the cocktail is the only thing capable of providing any relief as the narcotic pain killers only make me a drunk with an enormous pain problem.

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