Gabapentin as add-on therapy in focal epilepsy: A computerized EEG study

D. Mattia, F. Spanedda, M. A. Bassetti, A. Romigi, F. Placidi, M. G. Marciani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Gabapentin (GBP) possesses a well documented clinical efficacy in those types of focal epilepsy otherwise resistant to conventional antiepileptic drugs (AEDs); on the basis of this, it appears important to investigate the drug effects on the EEG epileptiform and background activity.Methods: Twenty-five patients with cryptogenic or symptomatic partial epilepsy resistant to conventional AED treatment were included in the study. All patients underwent long-term video-EEG recordings before and after GBP addition (900-1200 mg/day).Results: Quantitative analysis of the interictal EEG paroxysms revealed that GBP had no effect on the rate of occurrence of interictal and ictal EEG abnormalities. GBP was active in delimiting the spatial extent of the interictal spiking activity in those patients who displayed a significant reduction (≥50%) in seizure occurrence (32% of the patients). EEG background activity recorded under rest condition from 18 out of 25 epileptic patients, before GBP therapy, was characterised by a higher content of the slow spectral components (delta and theta) with respect to control subjects. After GBP addition, the increase of theta relative power was also evident during task performance.Conclusions: These findings suggest that GBP does not interfere with the generation of interictal EEG spiking while it appears to reduce the susceptibility to seizures concomitantly with a limiting effect on the spiking activity spatial extent. The utilization of GBP in controlling focal seizures is reinforced by the absence of negative influence on cognitive functioning. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2000


  • Computerised EEG
  • Epilepsy
  • Gabapentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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