In order to offer people with epilepsy the best possible advice about their treatment, this study compares treatment with one of the standard epilepsy drugs with treatment with one of the newer drugs.
It has recently been shown that long-term treatment with vigabatrin can cause irreversible visual field constriction, perhaps in about 50% of cases.
The defect is presumed to result from GABA transaminase inhibition in retinal cells; although visual field loss occurs as a toxic effect of some other drugs, the pattern of visual field loss is unique to vigabatrin, affecting mainly the nasal field.
There is an approximate relationship between total previous cumulative dose of vigabatrin and the extent of visual field impairment, but it is not known why some individuals and not others are affected.
The aim of the study is to investigate the effect of a new anti-epileptic drug, levetiracetam (keppra), in individuals with a learning disability who have uncontrolled epilepsy.
In particular, we will be interested to discover if the addition of levetiracetam as add-on treatment (given in addition to their existing medication) will lead to a reduction in seizures and the degree to which the new drug is tolerated (whether it causes any side effects).
We will also consider whether there is a change in behaviour patterns amongst patients using the drug and also other quality of life scales as an indicator to see how well the drug is working.
Objectives of this study is to assess anti-epileptic drug compliance in pregnancy and to assess foetal exposure to anti-epileptic drugs.
Hair analysis for anti-epileptic drug levels gives a reliable assessment of drug compliance of the weeks or months afterwards. It is therefore more useful than single blood levels in pregnancy.