Seizure frequency and CSF parameters in a double-blind placebo controlled trial of gabapentin in patients with intractable complex partial seizures

Epilepsy Res. 1995 Jul;21(3):231-6. doi: 10.1016/0920-1211(95)00026-7.


Gabapentin (GBP) is a non-protein-bound gamma amino acid which is not subjected to metabolic degradation in man. As part of a placebo-controlled double-blind study, patients suffering from intractable complex partial seizures with or without secondary generalization were followed with lumbar punctures at baseline and after three months of GBP treatment (900 mg/day or 1200 mg/day). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was analyzed for concentrations of GBP, amino acids including GABA, homovanillic acid (HVA), and 5 hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA). The results indicate that there were no changes in the selected amino acids, HVA, or 5-HIAA after GBP treatment. At steady state the CSF/plasma ratios of GBP ranged from 0.056 to 0.34, indicating that there may be some type of active out-transport of GBP across the blood-brain barrier. No linear relationship was observed between plasma and CSF levels in these patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Acetates / pharmacology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amines*
  • Anticonvulsants / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gabapentin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Placebo Effect
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism


  • Acetates
  • Amines
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Gabapentin