A child's IQ could be affected by maternal epilepsy

Sep 11, 2007

A history of maternal epilepsy and its associated treatment may be linked to impaired intelligence later in life, says a new study published in Epilepsia. Dr. Nina Oyen, M.D., of the University of Bergen and Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Bergen, Norway, investigated the I.Q. levels of sons born to mothers with and without epilepsy, and found a correlation between intelligence and the illness.

Drawing on extensive data on maternal epilepsy reported to the Medical Birth Registry of Norway and adult I.Q. scores and anthropometric measures taken later in life, the study monitored male children until the age of nineteen, providing a long-term look at the possible effects of maternal epilepsy on fetal brain development.

The study finds that almost twenty years after birth, the sons of mothers who suffered from epilepsy before or during pregnancy exhibited reduced I.Q. scores when compared to men whose mothers did not have epilepsy. A history of maternal epilepsy was also found to be associated with shorter height.

“Our results underline the need for population-based registries with complete long-term follow-up of infants with prenatal exposure to phenobarbital and phenytoin, drugs that are still widely used in many countries,” says Oyen, noting that studying the effects of exposure to newer medications is also important. Information on the specific antiepileptic drugs used by the epileptic mothers of children in the study was not available. “It remains to be seen whether the newer antiepileptic drugs are safer to offspring exposed during fetal life.”

Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Explore further: FTC clears Sun Pharma's $4B purchase of competitor Ranbaxy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Why aren't there any human doctors in Star Wars?

23 hours ago

Though set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," it isn't hard to see in the Star Wars films a vision of our own not so distant future. But Anthony Jones, a physician with a long background in health ...

Cambodia bans 'virgin surgery' adverts

Jan 29, 2015

The Cambodian government has ordered a hospital to stop advertising so-called virginity restoration procedures, saying it harms the "morality" of society.

What's happening with your donated specimen?

Jan 28, 2015

When donating blood, plasma, human tissue or any other bodily sample for medical research, most people might not think about how it's being used. But if you were told, would you care?

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

Jan 27, 2015

Amgen Inc. cruised to a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, due to higher sales of nearly all its medicines, tight cost controls and a tax benefit.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.