The effect of oxcarbazepine compared to standard antiepileptic drug therapy (carbamazepine and valproate) on cognitive function in 112 children and adolescents (ages 6 to 16 years) with newly diagnosed partial seizures was investigated in a multicenter, open-label, randomized, active-control group study at University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland; University of Maastricht, The Netherlands; and other European centers. Mean daily doses during the 4 weeks prior to cognitive function testing after 6 months treatment were 19.6 mg/kg for oxcarbazepine, 14.4 mg/kg for carbamazepine, and 20.7 mg/kg for valproate. Mean Computerized Visual Searching Task (CVST) times (the primary endpoint comparison of information processing speed) decreased in all 3 treatment groups compared to baseline, indicating improvement. No significant difference or worsening occurred cf baseline in the secondary cognitive tests (finger-tapping, visual reaction time, mental information processing speed, memory, learning, and nonverbal IQ) between and within groups. Patients were free of seizures in 58% of oxcarbazepine-treated and in 50% of those receiving carbamazepine/valproate. Most frequent adverse events (>10%) were fatigue and headache for oxcarbazepine, fatigue and rash for carbamazepine, and headache, increased appetite, and alopecia for valproate. [1]

COMMENT. No significant change in cognitive function occurred during open-label monotherapy with oxcarbazepine in children treated for partial seizures. Results were similar in patients treated with carbamazepine/valproate.