Folic acid lessens autism risk for fetal anti-epileptic exposure

January 2, 2018

(HealthDay)—For children exposed to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in utero, the risk of autistic traits may be mitigated by use of periconceptional folic acid supplementation, according to a study published online Dec. 26 in JAMA Neurology.

Marte Bjørk, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Bergen in Norway, and colleagues conducted a population-based prospective cohort study involving Norwegian-speaking women attending routine ultrasonographic examinations. Data were included for 104,946 mothers of children aged 18 to 36 months with available information on use of AEDs and folic acid supplementation.

The researchers found that the risk for autistic traits was significantly higher at 18 and 36 months of age for the 335 children exposed to AEDs (adjusted odds ratios, 5.9 and 7.9, respectively) when their mothers had not used , compared with children of mothers who had used supplements. The corresponding risks were lower at 18 and 36 months of age among women without epilepsy (adjusted odds ratios, 1.3 and 1.7, respectively); the corresponding risks were not significant at 18 and 36 months of age among the 389 of women with untreated epilepsy. There was an inverse association for the degree of autistic traits with maternal plasma folate concentrations and folic acid doses. There was no correlation for AED concentration with the degree of .

"Fertile women using AEDs should take supplements continuously," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Novartis.

Explore further: Folic acid during pregnancy could help to prevent autism caused by antiepileptic drugs

More information: Abstract/Full Text
Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Folic acid during pregnancy could help to prevent autism caused by antiepileptic drugs

June 1, 2016
If pregnant women take antiepileptic drugs, the child can develop autistic traits. The administration of folic acid preparations appears to be a suitable means of preventing this serious side-effect. This finding is suggested ...

Psychological benefits for kids when mums keep taking folic acid

May 4, 2017
Children's emotional intelligence improved if mums take folic acid supplements throughout pregnancy.

Folic acid may mitigate autism risk from pesticides

September 8, 2017
Researchers at UC Davis and other institutions have shown that mothers who take recommended amounts of folic acid around conception might reduce their children's pesticide-related autism risk.

Antiepileptic drug use while pregnant impacts early child development

July 18, 2013
Children whose mothers took antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) while pregnant are at increased risk of early development issues, according to a new study published in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the International ...

Folic acid in early pregnancy associated with reduced risk of severe language delay in children

October 11, 2011
Use of folic acid supplements by women in Norway in the period 4 weeks before to 8 weeks after conception was associated with a reduced risk of the child having severe language delay at age 3 years, according to a study in ...

Many pregnant women not getting message about boosting iodine and folic acid

October 16, 2017
New Zealand's Ministry of Health (MOH) rarely recommends using supplements, but does urge mothers to take in additional iodine and folic acid before and during pregnancy, and iodine when breastfeeding, to help avoid neurodevelopmental ...

Recommended for you

Often overlooked glial cell is key to learning and memory

June 18, 2018
Glial cells surround neurons and provide support—not unlike hospital staff and nurses supporting doctors to keep operations running smoothly. These often-overlooked cells, which include oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, ...

Neuroscientists map brain's response to cold touch

June 18, 2018
Carnegie Mellon University neuroscientists have mapped the feeling of cool touch to the brain's insula in a mouse model. The findings, published in the June 15 issue of Journal of Comparative Neurology, provide an experimental ...

Electrically stimulating the brain may restore movement after stroke

June 18, 2018
UC San Francisco scientists have improved mobility in rats that had experienced debilitating strokes by using electrical stimulation to restore a distinctive pattern of brain cell activity associated with efficient movement. ...

Silence is golden when it comes to how our brains work

June 18, 2018
It's the comparative silence between the firing spikes of neurons that tells what they are really up to, scientists report.

iReadMore app improves reading ability of stroke patients

June 18, 2018
A new smart app designed to improve the reading ability of people who have suffered a stroke provides 'significant' improvements, a UCL study has found.

Observing brain plasticity during cello training

June 15, 2018
Music acquisition provides an excellent model of neural plasticity, and has become a hot research subject in neurology. Music performance provides an unmatched array of neural complexities revealing how neural networks are ...

0 comments

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.