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Study raises questions about use of anti-epilepsy drugs in newborns
Date:5/11/2012

res or other complications.

"We were looking for the link between acute drug actions seen in a week-old rat pup and the long-term behavioral deficits we and others have seen in rats and humans," Forcelli says.

The researchers measured communication between neurons in an area of the brain known to be sensitive to anti-epilepsy drugs in baby rats that were 10, 14, or 18 days old. In normal, untreated rats, there was a dramatic increase in communication between neurons in this area during this eight-day period. But this maturation of neurons in the critical brain circuit was not seen in rats that had been treated a week earlier with a single therapeutic dose of phenobarbital or a different drug, phenytoin.

The researchers also tested the effect of the drugs after the pups reached early childhood, and found that those treated with phenobarbital were slow to learn.

"This is an important bridge between molecules and behavior that helps us to understand how early life drug exposure can permanently alter behavioral function in later life of the rats," Forcelli says.

The research group is now planning to find out how the drugs affect brain development in infant animals that also have seizures.


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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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