Cognitive Side Effects of Anticonvulsants

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The increasing use of anticonvulsant drugs in psychiatry has prompted greater awareness of their effects on a range of psychiatric domains, including cognition. Older versus newer antiepileptic drugs have been reported to either worsen or enhance cognitive performance in clinical populations, and the extent to which cognitive disturbances may reflect iatrogenic factors versus psychopathology is subject to debate. We review current information about the role of anticonvulsants in cognition, with particular emphasis on newer compounds (such as lamotrigine, gabapentin, and topiramate), the cognitive dimensions of affective illness, and the clinical approach to evaluating cognition in psychiatric patients taking anticonvulsant drugs over time.​​​​​

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(suppl 14):27–33