The effects of antiepileptic drugs on cognitive functional magnetic resonance imaging

Guilherme Coco Beltramini, Fernando Cendes, Clarissa Lin Yasuda


The cognitive dysfunction caused by antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) has been extensively described, although the mechanisms underlying such collateral effects are still poorly understood. The combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies with pharmacological intervention (pharmaco- MRI or ph-MRI) offers the opportunity to investigate the effect of drugs such as AEDs on brain activity, including cognitive tasks. Here we review the studies that investigated the effects of AEDs [topiramate (TPM), lamotrigine (LMT), carbamazepine (CBZ), pregabalin (PGB), valproate (VPA) and levetiracetam (LEV)] on cognitive fMRI tasks. Despite the scarcity of fMRI studies focusing on the impact of AEDs on cognitive task, the results of recent work have provided important information about specific drug-related changes of brain function.