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Antiepileptic Drugs Not Tied to Dementia Risk

No increased overall risk found, but levetiracetam generic brands tied to higher dementia risk

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WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Antiepileptic drug (AED) use is not significantly associated with dementia risk in patients in Germany, according to a study published online March 12 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Louis Jacob, Ph.D., from the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France, and colleagues examined the association between AED use and dementia risk among 50,575 cases with dementia and 50,575 controls without dementia in Germany. Cases and controls were matched by age, gender, physician, diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, and observation time prior to the index date.

The researchers found no significant association between AED use and dementia risk in either model 1, comparing ever versus never use, or model 2, assessing duration of treatment (in years). An increased dementia risk was seen for prescriptions of levetiracetam generic brands (model 1: odds ratio, 1.7; model 2: odds ratio, 1.36).

"It is possible that some of the newest generic brands of levetiracetam may have negative effects on cognitive function in older individuals with epilepsy and that these effects have not been investigated yet," the authors write.

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