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Neurology. 1992 Apr;42(4 Suppl 5):144-8.

Psychomotor development in children of mothers with epilepsy.

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Children's Castle Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.


The risk of psychomotor retardation and the prevalence of mental subnormality are slightly increased in offspring of mothers with epilepsy. The prevalence rates of mental deficiency observed in population-based studies have been lower than those in reports of hospital-based studies. In addition to use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), several other factors associated with maternal epilepsy, such as seizures during pregnancy, inherited brain disorders, and nonoptimal psychosocial environment, can affect the child's psychomotor development. None of the major AEDs carries any special risk for mental retardation. However, polytherapy and inherited deviations in AED metabolism in the fetus probably do increase the risk for mental retardation.

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