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J Child Neurol. 2010 May;25(5):541-5. doi: 10.1177/0883073809352888.

The effect of antiepileptic drugs on mitochondrial activity: a pilot study.

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  • 1The Neuro-Pediatric Unit, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


Mitochondria are probably a target in antiepileptic drug-induced hepatotoxicity accompanied by oxidative stress. Most studies discuss valproic acid. The information regarding other antiepileptic drugs is scarce. Most studies used in vitro methods and animal models. In this study, the authors have investigated the effect of antiepileptic drugs, other than valproic acid, on the oxidative phosphorylation process in children, by measuring mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production and the enzymatic activities of respiratory chain complexes II-IV in peripheral white blood cells. The results demonstrate that several antiepileptic drugs can affect the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. The authors have concluded that the effect of antiepileptic drugs on the mitochondria is not limited only to valproic acid, but can affect different mitochondrial pathways and can be performed in humans by relatively simple methods, using small samples of peripheral white blood cells.

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