Randomized double-blind comparison of cognitive and EEG effects of lacosamide and carbamazepine

Kimford J. Meador, David W. Loring, Alan Boyd, Javier Echauz, Suzette LaRoche, Naymee Velez-Ruiz, Pearce Korb, William Byrnes, Deanne Dilley, Simon Borghs, Marc De Backer, Tyler Story, Peter Dedeken, Elizabeth Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Differential effectiveness of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) is more commonly determined by tolerability than efficacy. Cognitive effects of AEDs can adversely affect tolerability and quality of life. This study evaluated cognitive and EEG effects of lacosamide (LCM) compared with carbamazepine immediate-release (CBZ-IR). A randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, two-period crossover, fixed-dose study in healthy subjects compared neuropsychological and EEG effects of LCM (150 mg, b.i.d.) and CBZ-IR (200 mg, t.i.d.). Testing was conducted at screening, predrug baseline, the end of each treatment period (3-week titration; 3-week maintenance), and the end of each washout period (4 weeks after treatment). A composite Z-score was derived for the primary outcome variable (computerized cognitive tests and traditional neuropsychological measures) and separately for the EEG measures. Other variables included individual computer, neuropsychological, and EEG scores and adverse events (AEs). Subjects included 60 healthy adults (57% female; mean age: 34.4 years [SD: 10.5]); 44 completed both treatments; 41 were per protocol subjects. Carbamazepine immediate-release had worse scores compared with LCM for the primary composite neuropsychological outcome (mean difference = 0.33 [SD: 1.36], p = 0.011) and for the composite EEG score (mean difference = 0.92 [SD: 1.77], p = 0.003). Secondary analyses across the individual variables revealed that CBZ-IR was statistically worse than LCM on 36% (4/11) of the neuropsychological tests (computerized and noncomputerized) and 0% of the four EEG measures; none favored CBZ-IR. Drug-related AEs occurred more with CBZ-IR (49%) than LCM (22%). Lacosamide had fewer untoward neuropsychological and EEG effects and fewer AEs and AE-related discontinuations than CBZ-IR in healthy subjects. Lacosamide exhibits a favorable cognitive profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-275
Number of pages9
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Carbamazepine
  • Cognition
  • EEG
  • Lacosamide
  • Neuropsychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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