Cognitive-communication deficits caused by topiramate : a summary of implications relevant to SLPs
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This report provides an overview of the adverse effects of the antiepileptic drug topiramate. Specifically, it evaluates the negative cognitive-communication effects of topiramate on individuals with epilepsy and postulates that treating these deficits is within the scope of practice of speech-language pathologists. It begins with a discussion on epilepsy, description of seizures, and the mechanism of action for antiepileptic drugs. It then provides an overview of cognitive communication deficits caused by antiepileptic drugs, including: memory problems, impairments in attention, and executive dysfunction. The final section provides an outline of potentially beneficial treatments a speech-language pathologist may provide to patients experiencing adverse effects from topiramate and how continued research can expand this area of practice.