Cognitive and behavioural assessments in clinical trials: what type of measure?

Epilepsy Res. 2001 May;45(1-3):163-7; discussion 169-70. doi: 10.1016/s0920-1211(01)00246-7.


This paper provides an overview of the types of neuropsychological and behavioural measures used in randomised controlled trials (RCTS) of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in patients with epilepsy. The results of previous systematic reviews are reported in respect of the methods used in clinical trials to assess cognitive and behavioural effects of AED treatment. There were 46 trials incorporating behavioural measures and 40 trials incorporating neuropsychological measures. The evidence supporting the choice of test, and their reliability, validity, and sensitivity to change was minimal. It is concluded that poor reporting of methods and a plethora of both neuropsychological and behavioural measures make it difficult to provide any meaningful comments about the effects of AED treatment. A much more standardised approach to assessing these effects is necessary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Behavior / drug effects*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Epilepsy / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests


  • Anticonvulsants