Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of lamotrigine on language and problem solving abilities in newly diagnosed pediatric epileptic patients.
Methods Sixty-seven newly diagnosed pediatric epileptic patients.(Male:Female=43:24, Mean age :8y 9m ± 2y 4m), who were investigated from 2006 to July 2011. We performed a standardized full articulation tests and Peabody picture vocabulary test-revised. Test of Problem Solving (TOPS), Mean Length of Utterance in words (MLU-w), comparison of Precise Articulation, Computerized Speech Lab were used to assess the language function before and after initiation of lamotrigine. Starting dosage of lamotrigine was 1mg/kg for the first 7–14 days; increased to 2mg/kg for the next 14 days and increased up to 7mg/kg/day (or 200mg/day).
Results First, TOPS showed that the abilities of problem solving were not injured after initiation of lamotrigine (32.9±13.0 vs 34.5±12.5, P >0.05). All parameters: Causal reason (11.6±4.5 vs 12.1±4.2), solution ratiocination (13.4±5.4 vs 13.6±5.6), beginning guess (7.9±4.2 vs 8.7±4.0) were not changed after initiation of lamotrigine. Second, MLU-w did not reduce after taking medicine (4.2±1.4 vs 4.2±1.3). Third, the receptive language function was significantly improved after taking lamotrigine in PPVT (8y 4m±2y 4m vs 8y 10m±2y 4m, P <0.01). However, there were no significant changes in percentages of precise articulation and error pattern of consonants after taking lamotrigine (98.3% to 99.1%, P >0.05).
Conclusions Our results suggest that lamotrigine can be used without significant negative effects on language function. Moreover, language functions, especially receptive language, were improved after lamotrigine initiation.