Efficacy of levetiracetam in Huntington disease

Marina De Tommaso, Olimpia Di Fruscolo, Vittorio Sciruicchio, Nicola Specchio, Claudia Cormio, Maria Fara De Caro, Paolo Livrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Levetiracetam (LEV) is a novel antiepileptic drug characterized by a wide spectrum of action; no pharmacologic interaction and poor adverse events are reported. In animal models, effects of LEV are observed in basal ganglia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of LEV in reducing involuntary movements in subjects affected by Huntington disease (HD). METHODS: This was a single-center, short-term, open-label, controlled study. Patients had LEV as add-on therapy for 6 months. In the first visit patients were rated according to the Unified Huntington Disease Rating Scale. Every 2 months they were submitted to all these tests. LEV was added at the dose of 500 mg twice daily for the first 2 months and then the dosage was increased until 1000 mg twice daily for the next 4 more months. The authors enrolled 22 patients: 15 were assigned to the LEV group and 7 were enrolled as control subjects. RESULTS: No serious adverse events were experienced by the treated patients. After 6 months of treatment patients on LEV showed a significant reduction of involuntary movements, with a slight improvement of functional capacity compared with the control group. CONCLUSION: Results of this short-term, prospective, controlled study indicates that in HD patients, LEV is effective in reducing involuntary movements, thus improving the quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-284
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neuropharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • Chorea
  • Huntington disease
  • Levetiracetam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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