Aim: To monitor the effect of adding levetiracetam in paediatric patients with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and uncontrolled epilepsy. Methods: A case series of eight patients with hemiplegic cerebral palsy whose focal seizures were not adequately controlled by their current anticonvulsants were monitored after levetiracetam was added to their medications. If there was a 50% reduction in seizure frequency, then the other anticonvulsants were discontinued. Prolonged follow-up occurred for a minimum of 2 years. Results: There were seven males and one female whose ages ranged from 4 years to 17 years. All had focal onset seizures, while seven also had secondarily generalised tonic clonic seizures. Levetiracetam resulted in at least a 50% reduction in seizure frequency in seven, with no change in one. Three were able to wean successfully to monotherapy and remained seizure free for over 2 years. They had a prior history of infrequent seizures, one to six per year. Those who continued to require multiple anticonvulsants had a prior history of more frequent seizures, 6-50/year. Levetiracetam was well tolerated, and none ceased this because of side effects. Conclusion: Levetiracetam is likely to be an effective anticonvulsant in children and adolescents with hemiplegic cerebral palsy and infrequent but persistent focal seizures.
- hemiplegic cerebral palsy