A pilot study transitioning children onto levetiracetam monotherapy to improve language dysfunction associated with benign rolandic epilepsy

Epilepsy Behav. 2007 Dec;11(4):514-7. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2007.07.011. Epub 2007 Oct 23.


Benign rolandic epilepsy (BRE) and Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) are similar epilepsy syndromes with sleep-accentuated epileptiform activity, sporadic seizures, and language dysfunction. Levetiracetam has been associated with improved language function in LKS and seizure reduction in BRE. We hypothesized levetiracetam would improve language function in children with BRE. A pilot study was performed with six children (aged 6-12) with BRE and evidence of impaired auditory comprehension and verbal memory. Children were transitioned from their current anticonvulsant to 40 mg/kg/day levetiracetam over a 2-week period and retested at 6 months. At 6 months, three of four children with baseline auditory comprehension impairments performed normally (P=0.06), and five had improved auditory verbal memory (P=0.08). Seizures improved in five, decreasing from 2.7 to 1.0 seizure per 6 months (P=0.11). Results from this pilot study suggest that levetiracetam may have a beneficial effect on language in children with BRE.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Epilepsy, Rolandic / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Development Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Language Development Disorders / etiology*
  • Language Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Levetiracetam
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Piracetam / analogs & derivatives*
  • Piracetam / therapeutic use


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Levetiracetam
  • Piracetam