Treatment with carbamazepine (CBZ) in therapeutic levels was associated with motor impairments in 19 children with epilepsy, studied during and 6 months after treatment was withdrawn at Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden. On a Bruininks-Oseretsky standardized test of gross and fine-motor proficiency, the drug-free evaluation showed significant improvements in response speed, fine-motor function, and total test battery scores. In another group of 12 children tested during treatment with CBZ, visual-motor control was impaired on the second test at a 6 month interval. [1]

COMMENT. Fine motor coordination impairments in children with epilepsy treated with carbamazepine may be explained by effects of the antiepileptic drug.

Cerebellar adverse effects of carbamazepine are reported in 9 (35%) of 26 young adults with chronic focal epilepsy treated at the Klinik Mara 1, Epilepsie-Zentrum Bethel, Bielefeld, Germany [2]. Serum concentrations of CBZ at onset of ataxic side-effects were related to occurrence of cerebellar atrophy on MRI. Patients showing cerebellar atrophy developed ataxia, nystagmus, and dizziness at lower CBZ levels than those without cerebellar atrophy.