Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Epilepsy Drug Taken When Pregnant May Increase Risk Of Autism In Children

Date:
December 9, 2008
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
A new study shows that women who take the epilepsy drug valproate while pregnant may significantly increase their child's risk of developing autism.

A new study shows that women who take the epilepsy drug valproate while pregnant may significantly increase their child's risk of developing autism. The preliminary research is published in the December 2, 2008, print issue of Neurology.

The ongoing study involves 632 children, nearly half of whom were exposed to epilepsy drugs during gestation. Of the children whose mothers took epilepsy drugs while pregnant, 64 were exposed to valproate, 44 to lamotrigine, 76 to carbamazepine and 65 to other epilepsy drugs. Of the 632 children in the study, nine have been diagnosed with autism and one has shown symptoms of the disorder. The children were tested at one, three and six years old. Two-thirds of the children were six years old by the end of the study.

The study found seven of the children with autism had mothers who took an epilepsy drug while pregnant, four of those children were exposed to valproate while a fifth child's mother took a combination of valproate and lamotrigine. The children whose mothers were given valproate during pregnancy were seven times more likely to develop autism compared to children whose mothers did not take an epilepsy drug while pregnant. This risk was not seen with the other epilepsy drugs. None of the children in the study had any known family history of autism.

"The potential risk for autism in this study was substantial for children whose mothers took valproate while pregnant, but more research needs to be done since these are early findings," says study author Gus Baker, PhD, FBPsS, of the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom."However, women who take valproate while pregnant should be informed of the possible risks of autism and are encouraged to discuss them with their doctor. Those who are taking valproate should not stop their treatment without speaking to their doctor first."

Other studies have shown that valproate is more likely to cause birth defects than other epilepsy drugs.

Symptoms of autism include difficulty in language development, a lack of attention, social problems and the inability to understand other people's feelings.

The study was conducted by the Liverpool and Manchester Neurodevelopment Group, a multidisciplinary group consisting of psychologists, geneticists, neurologists, midwives and support staff.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Epilepsy Drug Taken When Pregnant May Increase Risk Of Autism In Children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201162028.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2008, December 9). Epilepsy Drug Taken When Pregnant May Increase Risk Of Autism In Children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201162028.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Epilepsy Drug Taken When Pregnant May Increase Risk Of Autism In Children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201162028.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins