Thursday November 15, 2018

‘Epilepsy drug during pregnancy ups the oral cleft risk in babies’

The findings are based on data on more than one million live births over a period of 10 years in the US.

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Low doses of topiramate may also increase the risk of oral clefts but to a lesser extent. Wikimedia Commons
Low doses of topiramate may also increase the risk of oral clefts but to a lesser extent. Wikimedia Commons
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The study, published in the journal Neurology, said the risk is particularly high when the drug is used in high doses. “Our results suggest that the increased risk of oral clefts is most pronounced in women taking higher doses of topiramate to treat epilepsy,” said study co-author Elisabetta Patorno of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, US.

“Low doses of topiramate may also increase the risk of oral clefts but to a lesser extent,” Patorno said. “We hope that this work gives important information to women and their clinicians as they determine the best course of treatment and options available to individuals,” Patorno added. The findings are based on data on more than one million live births over a period of 10 years in the US.

Epilepsy is likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures. Wikimedia Commons
Epilepsy is likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures. Wikimedia Commons

The team examined the risk of oral clefts including cleft palate or cleft lip among three groups infants born to women who had taken topiramate in their first trimester; infants born to women who had taken the drug lamotrigine (an unrelated drug used to treat bipolar disorder and epilepsy); and infants who had not been exposed to anti-epileptic medications in utero.

The researchers found that the risk of oral clefts was approximately three times higher for the topiramate group than for either the lamotrigine or the unexposed group.

“Our results suggest that women with epilepsy on topiramate have the highest relative risk of giving birth to a baby with cleft lip or cleft palate, likely due to the higher doses of topiramate when used for controlling seizures,” said corresponding author Sonia Hernandez-Diaz of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “The best course may be to avoid prescribing high doses of topiramate to women of childbearing age unless the benefits clearly outweigh the risks,” she added. IANS

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Managing Weight During Pregnancy May Affect Child’s Bone Health

The team analysed prospective data from 2,167 mother-child pairs

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Pregnancy, autism
Weight management in pregnancy may affect child's bone health. Pixabay

There is no benefit for children’s bone mass if women gain weight during pregnancy, says a new study.

And this applies to both normal and overweight women prior to pregnancy, says Teresa Monjardino, lead author from the Universidade do Porto in Portugal.

Weight management strategies during pregnancy reduce child cardiometabolic risk such as diabetes and heart disease.

However, because maternal weight has an overall positive correlation with a child’s bone mass, pregnancy weight management could adversely affect child bone health, said the researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, showed that in under and normal weight mothers, weight gain during pregnancy was associated with slightly increased bone mass at 7 years of age in children.

Pregnancy, air pollution
Weight management strategies during pregnancy reduce child cardiometabolic risk such as diabetes and heart disease. Pixabay

On the other hand, in the case of overweight or obese mothers, no beneficial effect of weight gain on bone mass was observed.

“Until recently, it was a widely held scientific belief that any weight gain from the mother during pregnancy would have a beneficial effect on children’s bone mass,” said Monjardino.

Also Read- Poor Aerobic Fitness Increases Risk of Diabetes in Kids

“Our study results corroborate that there is no benefit in gaining weight above the US Institute of Medicine recommendations for pregnancy weight gain for children’s bone mass, in both normal and overweight women prior to pregnancy,” added Monjardino.

The team analysed prospective data from 2,167 mother-child pairs. (IANS)