Vigabatrin (gamma-vinyl GABA) is a new anticonvulsive drug that irreversibly inhibits the activity of GABA transaminase. The effect of vigabatrin on neurotransmission-related amino acids in CSF of 28 epileptic patients was studied and the relationship between the amino acid pattern and clinical response during 7 months of administration of vigabatrin. Of this study population, 46% had more than 50% decrease in seizure frequency (responders). In 54% the seizures decreased less than 50% (nonresponders). In the whole study group, the levels of total GABA during vigabatrin treatment were 283%, free GABA 197%, homocarnosine 310% and glycine 128% that of the levels at baseline in the same patients. Glutamate, glutamine, aspartate, asparagine, and taurine concentrations did not change. The amino acid pattern in CSF during administration of vigabatrin did not differ significantly in responders and nonresponders. The study suggests that both GABAergic and glycinergic neurotransmission are affected by vigabatrin. The changes in CSF levels of neurotransmitter amino acids are, however, not necessarily related to the clinical response.
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