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Cognitive Outcomes Studied for In Utero Exposure to Antiseizure Meds

No significant differences in language development seen at age 2 years for children born to mothers with epilepsy

pregnant woman with a pill in her hand

TUESDAY, June 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Neurodevelopment in children born to mothers with epilepsy and exposed to antiseizure medications (ASMs) in the third trimester is similar to that in children born to healthy mothers, according to a study published online June 7 in JAMA Neurology.

Kimford J. Meador, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues assessed the relationship between maximum ASM exposure in the third trimester and subsequent cognitive abilities among children of women with epilepsy. The analysis included 292 children of women with epilepsy and 90 children of healthy women.

The researchers observed no differences between groups on the primary outcome of language domain nor any of the other four Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (BSID-III) domains. Most women with epilepsy were taking lamotrigine and/or levetiracetam. Higher maximum ASM levels in the third trimester were associated with lower BSID-III scores for the motor domain and lower scores in the general adaptive domain in secondary analyses.

"These findings must be interpreted within the context that neuropsychological assessments conducted at 2 years of age are not as strongly associated with adolescent/adult functioning as assessments performed in older children, which will be conducted subsequently in the MONEAD study," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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