Two commonly prescribed epilepsy drugs have varied cognitive side effects on patients, report doctors from Georgetown University Medical Center. Their findings are published in the May 13 issue of the journal Neurology. In a double-blind, randomized study, researchers looked at 2 drugs, valproate–released in 1978 for the treatment of epileptic seizures, and topiramate, approved by the FDA in late 1996. Each drug was added to carbamazepine, a standard epilepsy treatment, and then given to patients with epilepsy. The cognitive effects on those patients taking topiramate were slightly, although noticeably, worse than those taking the older valproate for a subset of patients.