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Bazil CW, Rose A, Resor S, Yapicular B, Hirsch LJ. Levetiracetam May Be More Effective for Late-Onset Partial Epilepsy. Arch Neurol. 2002;59(12):1905–1908. doi:10.1001/archneur.59.12.1905
Many agents are available for treating epilepsy; however, population studies have failed to show overall differences in efficacy for a given seizure type. Clinical experience suggests that certain individuals will respond to a given agent while others with the same seizure type will not.
To examine a population of patients who received one of the newer antiepileptic drugs, levetiracetam, and to identify those who had either a dramatic improvement or a significant worsening of seizures.
Retrospective medical record review of patients with refractory epilepsy.
Patients who responded well to levetiracetam therapy were older at the onset of epileptic seizure than those who did not (mean [SD] age, 51  vs 27  years; P<.05). This was also true of the subset of patients who had localization-related epilepsy. Patients with temporal lobe onset were likely to do well whereas patients with frontal lobe onset were not.
These results suggest that certain subpopulations may be particularly likely to respond to levetiracetam therapy. These need to be confirmed in a larger prospective trial; however, looking for specific characteristics of patients who respond to certain drugs may lead to useful guidelines for drug choices in treating epilepsy.
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