Article

Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 423-427

Antiepileptic Drugs and Neurodevelopment: An Update

  • Susan PalacAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Woodruff Memorial Research Building, Emory University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Kimford J. MeadorAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Woodruff Memorial Research Building, Emory University School of Medicine

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Abstract

In utero exposure to some antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) is associated with an increased risk of impaired cognitive development. Specifically, valproate and polytherapy exposure are each associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment in children compared with other antiepileptic medications. The data regarding the risk to neurocognitive development imposed by maternal use of other AEDs are conflicting or insufficient at this time to draw definitive conclusions. Behavioral dysfunction including autistic spectrum disorder is also associated with maternal use of AEDs during pregnancy. Whether treatment with AEDs during childhood permanently affects cognitive neurodevelopment is yet to be determined.

Keywords

Antiepileptic drugs Cognition Neurodevelopment Epilepsy Pregnancy