News Release 

Epilepsy drugs during pregnancy linked with later childhood behavioral problems


A new study has uncovered an increased risk of behavioral problems in children of mothers with epilepsy who took common antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy.

In the Epilepsia study, behavioral questionnaires were completed for 181 children aged 6 to 7 years, and for most children both parents completed behavioral questionnaires.

Based on parental ratings, valproate- exposed children were most affected, but parents of carbamezepine-, lamotrigine-, and levetiracetam-exposed children also reported behavioral problems.

"It is important to monitor children of mothers with epilepsy and also consider other possible contributing factors, such as family factors. These may provide starting points for interventions to help parents cope with or even decrease child behavioral problems," said lead author Yfke Huber-Mollema, MsC, of the Stichting Epilepsy Instellingen Nederland (SEIN) and the University of Amsterdam.


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