Early treatment after stroke for the prevention of late epileptic seizures: A report on the problems performing a randomised placebo-controlled double-blind trial aimed at anti-epileptogenesis

J. H. van Tuijl*, E. P. M. van Raak, M. C. T. F. M. de Krom, J. Lodder, A. P. Aldenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Web of Science)


Introduction: Epileptic seizures in stroke patients are a common complication and adversely affect neurological outcome. We tried to perform a trial aimed at preventing the development of late poststroke seizures using levetiracetam. Levetiracetam is assumed to have anti-epileptogenic properties and might be suitable to prevent late epileptic seizures in stroke patients. Methods: Stroke patients with a cortical syndrome and a modified Rankin score >= 3 or NIHSS >= 6 were treated with either levetiracetam 1500 mg daily divided in two doses or placebo during 12 weeks following stroke. Treatment was started within 7 days following stroke onset. Results: Only 16 patients were included in this trial. Problems during the execution of this prophylactic trial concerned the assessment of the occurrence of epileptic seizures, a very slow inclusion rate, the use of anticonvulsive co-medication, continuation of the trial medication after discharge, and the evaluation of possible side effects of the trial medication. Discussion: Due to too few participants, no conclusions could be drawn regarding the ability of levetiracetam to prevent poststroke seizures. The problems encountered during execution of this trial seem to be inherent to performing a trial aimed at preventing the development of epileptic seizures in stroke patients. Conclusions: A prophylactic trial in stroke patients aimed at preventing poststroke seizures and epilepsy seems not feasible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-291
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Epilepsy
  • Seizure
  • Stroke
  • Anti-epileptogenesis

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