Some drugs used to treat epilepsy harm children who are exposed to them in the womb or through breast milk, a new analysis of the literature suggests1. The drug valproate is particularly risky, boosting the likelihood of autism and other developmental problems up to 17-fold. The study is the first to compare the relative risks of taking various epilepsy drugs during pregnancy. Some of these medications are also used to treat bipolar disorder and migraines.
A study investigated the association between maternal epilepsy, antiepileptic drugs used during pregnancy, and perinatal outcomes since there is little data comparing perinatal outcomes with or without antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder marked by unpredictable, recurring seizures caused by disruptions in nerve cell activity in the brain. During a seizure, any brain function can be affected. Once diagnosed, people usually begin treatment with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) to reduce the number and duration of their seizures. However, other health problems such as depression, insomnia, stomach upset, osteoporosis, or eye damage seem to be more prevalent amongst epileptics and it is unknown whether these are related to the disease, the medications, or both....
PARIS (Reuters) – An estimated 2,150 to 4,100 children in France suffered a major malformation in the womb between 1967 and 2016 after their mothers took a treatment against epilepsy and bipolar disorders known as valproate, France’s drug regulator said on Thursday. Valproate, which has been manufactured in France by Sanofi under the brand Depakine in the field of epilepsy and Depakote and Depamide in bipolar disorders, is also believed to cause slow neurological development.
Babies born to severely obese, or grade III obesity, was associated with an 82 per cent increased risk of epilepsy. A study of almost 1.5 million children has found the risk of epilepsy almost doubled among those born to severely obese mothers. Being overweight during the first trimester of pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of childhood epilepsy. A Swedish study of almost 1.5 million babies found the risk of epilepsy almost doubled from normal-weight women to very severely obese women. Epilepsy disrupts the normal electrochemical activity of the brain resulting seizures. The cause of this debilitating and often hard-to-treat condition is poorly understood. With obesity on the rise, there is growing concern about the long-term neurological effects of children expose...
Children born to mothers who have active genital herpes during pregnancy may be at twice the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, new research suggests. Researchers suggest a link between active HSV-2 in early pregnancy and autism risk in offspring. Lead author Milada Mahic, of the Center for Infection and Immunity and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Norway, and colleagues report their findings in the journal mSphere. Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection primarily caused by herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). Around 417 million people worldwide have genital herpes caused by HSV-2, with around 10-20 percent of cases occurring in people who have received a prior diagnosis of the condition.
Scanning a premature infant’s brain shortly after birth to map the location and volume of lesions, small areas of injury in the brain’s white matter, may help doctors better predict whether the baby will have disabilities later.
In a prospective study of women with epilepsy, researchers found blood levels of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) in their breastfed infants to be either undetectable or well below the therapeutic range. They reported the findings here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease whereby the body’s own immune system attacks the joints. New research suggests there may be a link between mothers with the autoimmune disorder and their children who develop epilepsy.
Two epilepsy drugs, levetiracetam and topiramate, may not harm the thinking skills and IQs of school-age children born to women who took them while pregnant, according to a recent study. The research is published in the August 31, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. However, the drug valproate is associated with lower IQs in children, especially at higher dosages. Valproate, levetiracetam and topiramate are approved by the FDA to treat seizures. Valproate is a commonly prescribed antiepileptic medication, and has been linked to birth defects and developmental problems. Levetiracetam and topiramate are newer drugs, and few studies have looked at their effects on child development and thinking.
Pregnant women and new mothers with epilepsy have lower self-esteem and are less satisfied with life than pregnant women and mothers without the condition, according to a new study.* A team from the University of Bergen analysed data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, of over 112,000 women with and without epilepsy from the general population. Investigation took place at pregnancy, weeks 15–19, and 6 and 18 months postpartum. Women with epilepsy were compared with a reference group without epilepsy. The analysis, published in the journal Epilepsy and Behavior, found that 0.6-0.7% of the women had epilepsy at all three assessment points.