“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.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,500 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury and Parkinson’s disease.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com.VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/AANChannel
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.
Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
12.11.2018 | Life Sciences
12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences
12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy