Levetiracetam in autistic children

Levetiracetam in autistic children: an o… [J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2002] – PubMed – NCBI.

This is a rather interesting study. Nootropics have been used my house for almost everyone in the family for a while. What’ interesting to note about this is that it certainly created improvements but there were no nootropic effects found.

I’ll be posting more on nootropics as I really think more parents should know about them.


I had originally started this as a response in the comments to Channa’s question but then decided it might just be better served up here.

It’s an anti-epileptic drug more commonly known as Keppra. What makes it interesting is that it is structurally similar to piracetam, a nootropic, which is why I posted it. I’m big on nootropics.

Keppra has always been an anticonvulsant and it is not considered a nootropic but some studies have said that it can produce a milder nootropic effect, meaning that it’s probably not really known well enough whether or not it could be classified as a nootropic since there is conflicting data.

I wonder if the effects that some ASD kids have with improvement from Keppra can be somewhat contributed to a possible nootropic enhancement or if it’s strictly due to the lowering of seizure activity. Part of what they describe, lessening of hyperactivity and impulsivity is exactly what a nootropic can do. So I have to wonder if they really didn’t see a nootropic effect.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. channa
    Feb 15, 2012 @ 12:29:29

    do you know what class of drug this is?


  2. cheryl
    Feb 15, 2012 @ 13:12:27

    Channa: I updated the post to answer that and add a little more.


  3. Mike
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 11:21:28

    I like your blog, and I think you’ve done a lot of pretty good research here. As someone who suffered from ADD as a child, I’ve been very interested in nootropics and biofeedback as they’ve generally helped me more than the traditional stimulant drugs prescribed for my condition. I’ve put together a site about nootropics that might be of some use to you – http://www.smarternootropics.com – but I’d also suggest maybe looking into biofeedback. I looked around your blog and didn’t see anything specifically about that, but for me that had excellent results. It also had excellent results for my next door neighbor and good friend who had autism (he’s now an actor). Anyway, keep up the good blogging!


    • cheryl
      Feb 16, 2012 @ 11:40:59

      Thanks, Mike! I’m actually quite familiar with both biofeedback and neurofeedback. I haven’t gotten to it yet as a discussion, though. I suppose I should do that soon. 😉 I did give Neurofeedback a cursory mention here.


  4. RGP
    Sep 04, 2012 @ 13:26:59

    My little girl just started on keppra a few weeks ago. She was dx’d with PDD-NOS but we thought we witnessed her having absence seizures. After an EEG indicating her brain wave pattern was similar to those individuals likely to develop epilepsy, the doctor put her on very low dose keppra. The improvements were amazing. Eye contact, quantity and quality of speech (she started asking “Why?” questions!!!) as well as her concentration all went through the roof….right before kindergarten started. We hope her improvements continue.


    • vlad
      Feb 24, 2013 @ 09:57:58

      How many weeks was your daughter on Keppra before you saw any improvements? Were these improvements gradual or abrupt? What was the Keppra dosage? Is she still on it? We have a similar situation with our 4yr old son. He is autistic with “abrupt discharges” on his EEG but no seizures. He was put on Keppra (400mg per day) as a trial and after two weeks we don’t see any improvements.
      Thanks for your post.


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