Effects of lamotrigine on nocturnal sleep, daytime somnolence and cognitive functions in focal epilepsy

Acta Neurologica Scandinavica
F PlacidiG L Gigli

Abstract

The aim of our study was to evaluate possible changes in nocturnal sleep, daytime somnolence and cognitive functions induced by add-on therapy with lamotrigine (LTG). Thirteen patients affected by seizures resistant to common antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) underwent nocturnal polysomnographic monitorings, daytime somnolence evaluations and a neuropsychological battery before and after 3 months of treatment with LTG. With LTG therapy we observed a significant increase in REM sleep and a significant reduction in the number of entries into REM and stage shifts. No significant correlation was observed between the decrease in nocturnal epileptiform activity and the increase in REM sleep. Other sleep parameters were unmodified. No significant changes were observed in daytime somnolence and in cognitive performances. LTG may produce positive effects on epileptic seizures and interictal abnormalities without interfering negatively on REM sleep, with improvement of sleep stability and without changes in daytime somnolence and neuropsychological performances. For these reasons it could be an important drug for improving epileptic patients' quality of life.

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