Biotin status of epileptics.


Krause KH, Bonjour JP , Berlit P, Kochen W




Ann N Y Acad Sci


Microbiologically determined plasma biotin levels in 404 epileptics under long-term treatment with anticonvulsants were markedly lower than in 112 controls (p less than 0.0005). Patients with partial epilepsy had lower biotin levels and higher average daily intake of AC than those with generalized epilepsy. Epileptics treated with valproate sodium in monotherapy showed considerably higher biotin levels than epileptics with monotherapy of primidone (PRM), carbamazepine (CBZ), phenytoin (PHT) or phenobarbital (PB). The group of epileptics with high average daily dose of anticonvulsants had lower biotin levels than the group with low dose. In three patients with newly recognized epilepsy biotin levels were normal before starting anticonvulsant medication, increased during the first week and fell under the starting level in the following weeks. Four epileptics treated with PHT, PB, PRM or CBZ had an increased urinary excretion of organic acids, as found in patients with a deficiency of biotin-dependent carboxylases. In 37 epileptics undergoing long-term treatment plasma lactate concentrations were determined; they had a higher mean concentration than that found in controls. Our results suggest, that the lowering of biotin in epileptics is caused by intake of anticonvulsants and has a biochemical effect in these patients. It is discussed, whether this could be a factor in the mode of action of anticonvulsants.