Cortical excitability in patients after loading doses of lamotrigine: A study with magnetic brain stimulation

P. Manganotti, L. G. Bongiovanni, G. Zanette, M. Turazzini, A. Fiaschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the brain allows the pharmacologic effects of anticonvulsant drugs (AEDs) on the excitability of motor corticospinal pathways to be evaluated in patients with epilepsy and normal subjects. However, no study has yet documented the changes in motor excitability in patients treated with lamotrigine (LTG). We aimed to study the effects of loading doses of LTG on TMS recordings in patients with epilepsy at the beginning of their treatment. Methods: We investigated single-pulse TMS in six patients with complex partial seizures. The TMS recordings were performed in five sessions before and during 5 weeks of treatment. Motor threshold, motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude, cortical silent period, and peripheral conduction velocity were used as parameters of evaluation. LTG was started with a dosage of 25 mg/day until a daily maintenance dosage of 200 mg/day was reached. Results: The motor threshold activation of thenar muscles was significantly increased by LTG after 2 weeks of treatment and was increased in a parallel way to the loading dose of the drug at week 3 and 5 of treatment. The MEP size recorded from the thenar muscles did not show significant changes at high- or low-intensity stimulation. The cortical silent period remained unchanged at low- and high- intensity stimulation. The absolute latency of MEPs after cortical and cervical stimulation was unchanged, as was the central motor conduction time. Conclusions: Our study documents that loading doses of LTG, administered as monotherapy, progressively increases patients' motor thresholds over short periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-321
Number of pages6
JournalEpilepsia
Volume40
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Epilepsy
  • Lamotrigine
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

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    Manganotti, P., Bongiovanni, L. G., Zanette, G., Turazzini, M., & Fiaschi, A. (1999). Cortical excitability in patients after loading doses of lamotrigine: A study with magnetic brain stimulation. Epilepsia, 40(3), 316-321.