Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breastfeeding while taking seizure drugs may not harm child's IQ, study suggests

Date:
November 25, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
There's good news for women with epilepsy. Breastfeeding your baby while taking your seizure medication may have no harmful effect on your child's IQ later on, according to a new study.

There's good news for women with epilepsy. Breastfeeding your baby while taking your seizure medication may have no harmful effect on your child's IQ later on, according to a study published in the November 24, 2010, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"While more research is needed with larger numbers of women and their babies, these results are reassuring to women who want to give their babies all the benefits of breastfeeding but also need to remain on their epilepsy medications to avoid devastating seizures," said study author Kimford Meador, MD, of Emory University in Atlanta and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

The study followed 194 pregnant women who were taking one epilepsy drug. Of their 199 babies, 42 percent were breastfed. When they were three years old, the children were given IQ tests.

The study found that there was no difference in IQ scores between the children who were breastfed and those who were not. Those who were breastfed scored 99 on the test, while those who were not scored 98, which is not a significant difference.

The women were taking the drugs carbamazepine, lamotrigine, phenytoin, or valproate. Meador noted that more research is needed on the effects of other, newer drugs for epilepsy. The children whose mothers were taking valproate had lower IQ scores, whether or not they were breastfed. American Academy of Neurology guidelines recommend that valproate be avoided during pregnancy due to risks of birth defects and effects on cognitive skills. AAN guidelines also recommend that women avoid taking more than one epilepsy drug at a time during pregnancy since taking more than one drug has been found to increase the risk of birth defects compared to taking only one medication.

Editorial author Autumn Klein, MD, PhD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Medical School in Boston said that this is one of the first large studies on breastfeeding while taking an epilepsy drug.

"Many women are counseled not to breastfeed due to the lack of information on the effects of these drugs, but breastfeeding has many positive emotional effects for the mother and the baby along with the decreased risks for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in the child and breast and ovarian cancer in the mother," Klein said. "This study highlights the pressing need for more data on epilepsy drugs in breast milk and the long-term effects."

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the UK Epilepsy Research Foundation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. K.J. Meador, G.A. Baker, N. Browning, J. Clayton-Smith, D.T. Combs-Cantrell, M. Cohen, L.A. Kalayjian, A. Kanner, J.D. Liporace, P.B. Pennell, M. Privitera, D.W. Loring for the NEAD Study Group. Effects of breastfeeding in children of women taking antiepileptic drugs. Neurology, 2010; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181ffe4a9

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Breastfeeding while taking seizure drugs may not harm child's IQ, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101124162218.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2010, November 25). Breastfeeding while taking seizure drugs may not harm child's IQ, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101124162218.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Breastfeeding while taking seizure drugs may not harm child's IQ, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101124162218.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
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

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