Antiepileptic drugs and plasma and platelet taurine in epilepsy


H.O. Goodman






Although older studies have reported elevated plasma taurine concentrations, more recent studies have reported the same or lower plasma taurine concentrations in epileptic than in control subjects. The present study determined plasma taurine concentrations in 114 epileptic and 99 control subjects. In addition, taurine concentrations in platelets, known to be rich in taurine, were assayed. Serum drug concentrations were also determined to detect possible effects on plasma or platelet taurine concentrations. The plasma and platelet taurine concentrations of epileptic subjects were significantly more variable than corresponding control data. Mean platelet taurine was significantly lower for epileptic patients than for controls. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) on data from epileptic patients revealed no significant association between platelet or plasma taurine concentrations and drug or seizure groups. However, t tests revealed a higher mean plasma taurine concentration for patients with primary generalized seizure disorders (group II) receiving valproate (VPA) (p less than 0.004). Utilizing serum drug concentrations, a significant negative correlation (rxy = -0.552) was found between log-converted platelet taurine and serum VPA concentrations (p less than 0.01) among group II patients. Results were interpreted as having potential value for less empiric drug use and as indicating that cellular rather than plasma studies will prove more informative in gaining an understanding of the idiopathic epilepsies.