Saturday December 7, 2019

‘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

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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Most Pregnant Women Depend on Their Mothers For Guidance: Study

The researchers performed in-depth interviews with pregnant women and their mothers while following the pregnant women for nine months

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Pregnant Women
The study also found that Pregnant Women with higher education still found a great value in what their mothers could tell them about how their bodies would be changing and were a valuable source for details related to their familial or genetic inheritance -- information that only their mothers could contribute. Pixabay

Most Pregnant Women still rely on their mothers for emotional support and guidance — many weighing mother’s advice as equal to or even over medical recommendation, a new study suggests.

For the study, published in the journal Reproduction, the research team from University of Cincinnati, investigated the complexities within mother-daughter dynamics during pregnancy in relation to potentially harmful advice from many pregnancy guidebooks, looking specifically at the emotional and health care risks to certain groups.

The researchers performed in-depth interviews with pregnant women and their mothers while following the pregnant women for nine months.

“I found that most pregnancy self-help books, best known for their month-by-month guidance on fetal development and lifestyle coaching, are also empathic about following medical advice exclusively over what they consider the outdated advice of a mother or friend,” said study researcher Danielle Bessett from University of Cincinnati.

“This advice is limited and can result in an increased level of stress and discomfort for some soon-to-be moms,” Bessett added.

While looking at two groups — pregnant women with at least a bachelor’s degree and women with no college or higher education — Bessett found that all pregnant women took steps to have a healthy pregnancy.

But while the researcher identified a pervasive link to a mother’s influence on her daughter’s health and well-being in both groups, it was especially strong for minorities and women with less than a college degree who had little trust in their medical personnel.

Women with higher education engaged with their mothers in ways much more similar to how they are framed in common self-help books.

“Self-help books are giving us a really terrible picture of soon-to-be grandmothers that pregnant women themselves don’t really fully endorse regardless of who they are,” said Bessett.

“I argue that books are strictly endorsing medical guidance exclusively and that’s not the only place where women are getting their information,” Besset added.

 

Pregnant Women
Most Pregnant Women still rely on their mothers for emotional support and guidance — many weighing mother’s advice as equal to or even over medical recommendation, a new study suggests. Pixabay

While highly educated women engaged with their mothers in a more limited way, women with lower education engaged with their mothers more in-depth about everything and ranked their mothers as the most valuable source of information, the study said.

ALSO READ: Marine Animals Can Help Humans Monitor Oceans: Study

The study also found that women with higher education still found a great value in what their mothers could tell them about how their bodies would be changing and were a valuable source for details related to their familial or genetic inheritance — information that only their mothers could contribute.

“One of the most distinctive differences between the two groups showed how much more women with higher education valued how scientific information and modern technology could contribute to a healthy pregnancy,” said Bessett. (IANS)