Study Offers New Insights Into AED/Autism Risk For Pregnant Women

Ultrasound scan of foetus

A new Australian study has provided clearer insights into the link between the use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in pregnant women and the elevated risk of autism in their unborn children.

Conducted in partnership between the University of Birmingham and a number of Australian institutions, the prospective cohort study examined 105 children exposed to anticonvulsants during pregnancy in order to gain a better understanding of the true risks involved.

Each of the children were aged between six and eight years old and were recruited via the Australian Pregnancy Register for Women on Antiepileptic Medication. Maternal epilepsy, pregnancy and medical history data were obtained prospectively, while autism traits were assessed using the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS).Watch movie online Get Out (2017)

According to results published in the medical journal Epilepsia, 11 children – or 10.5 per cent of the cohort – had elevated CARS scores, enough to indicate an increased rate of autism traits across the sample.

The most important determinant of association with autistic traits was higher doses of sodium valproate exposure – of the 11 patients affected, two had been exposed to valproate monotherapy, two to carbamazepine monotherapy and seven to valproate in polytherapy.

Linear regression analysis showed that the mean valproate dose during pregnancy was a significant predictor of CARS scores after controlling for polytherapy, mean carbamazepine dose, folic acid use, seizures during pregnancy, tobacco and marijuana use, maternal IQ and socioeconomic status.

First trimester folic acid supplementation and marijuana use were also significant predictors of CARS scores.

Additionally, the paper highlighted one potential way in which valproate could be incorporated into maternal epilepsy treatment in a less risky manner.

The researchers said: “The use of valproate in women who may become pregnant is now generally avoided; however, there is insufficient data regarding the risk of ASD with low-dose valproate.

“If this risk is no greater than with other AEDs, it may enable women with genetic generalised epilepsy to retain optimal seizure control, as well as minimise harm to their unborn child.”

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Pregnant mum’s benefits slashed when she misses appointment – because she had an epileptic fit

Stephanie Rigby, 24, missed an appointment with a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officer after having a fit – but they claim she never told them

A young mum has had her benefits slashed after suffering a seizure and missing an appointment.

Pregnant Stephanie Rigby, 24, missed a meeting with a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) officer, after falling ill – and has had her payments cut.

Despite informing officers that she was unwell, Stephanie found her vital benefits were slashed.

Stephanie, from Hindley in Greater Manchester, said: “I have suffered from epilepsy for 20 years and had an attack on the day I was due to go for an ESA assessment. They make me very ill and I have to go to bed for most of the day to recover. They have happened more often recently because I’m pregnant.

“We informed DWP and were told we would need to provide a doctor’s note to explain why I missed it and that’s what we’ve done.”

Ross ParryBenefits: Stephanie Rigby at home with boyfriend Leon Roberts
But the DWP and agency Atos, which formerly dealt with Employment and Support Allowance cases, said they had no records of that conversation and said Stephanie had failed to provide any evidence for her claim.

Mum-of-one Stephanie, who is three-months-pregnant, said she had been treated with a lack of respect and felt “officers were laughing at her”.

She claims it was during a phone conversation about where to send the medical records that the comment about the recording of the seizure was made.

She said she did not know which official had been on the phone because he was “evasive” about his identity.

Ross ParryUpset: Stephanie says she was treated with a lack of respect and felt “officers were laughing at her”.
A spokesman for DWP said: “Ms Rigby failed to attend an assessment in March and provided no medical evidence to support the claim she was too ill to attend.

“She asked us to reconsider the decision to stop her ESA but did not provide any additional evidence. These decisions carry a further right of appeal and if any medical evidence can be produced it will be considered.”Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

A spokesman for Atos said it was not part of their employees remit to make enquiries about missed assessments.Justice League Dark 2017 streaming

PAAppeal: The Department for Work and Pensions says Stephanie failed to provide medical evidence
Stephanie said she has now sent notes from her doctor via fax and expects her case to be reviewed.

She added: “I have not had my payments now for more than a month and they’re saying I can’t prove it, I feel like they’re laughing at me.”download full film iBoy 2017


Having a family history of breast cancer does not affect the outcome of treatment, study finds

  • Women with a family history of breast cancer face no worse outcomes after treatment than those with no close relatives diagnosed with the disease
  • Breast cancer recurrence rates are no higher in people with a family history
  • Experts said findings could reassure women worried about their genetics 

Women with a family history of breast cancer fare just as well after treatment as those with no history of the disease, a study has found.

Researchers found breast cancer recurrence rates are no higher in women with close relatives who have been diagnosed with the illness than those who don’t.

Ramsey Cutress, an associate professor in breast surgery at the University of Southampton, said his team’s findings could reassure women worried about how their genetics might affect their cancer treatment.

Women with a family history of breast cancer fare just as well after treatment as those with no history of the disease, a study found (file photo)

He said: ‘Successful treatment for breast cancer is just as likely in young patients with a family history of breast cancer, as in those without a family history.

‘Patients with a family history of breast cancer can therefore be reassured that their family history alone does not mean that their outcome will be worse.’

It is known that having close relatives who have had breast cancer or ovarian cancer increases the risk of developing these diseases, although most cases do not run in families.

Particular genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, increase the risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer and it’s possible for these genes to be passed on from a parent to their child.

A third gene, TP53, is also associated with increased risk of breast cancer.

Mr Cutress and his team examined the cases of 2,850 women as part of the The Prospective Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary breast cancer (POSH) study.

They were all under the age of 41 and were diagnosed with breast cancer and treated in the UK.

The researchers found that there were no significant differences in cancer recurrence rates after treatment for women with a history of breast cancer in their family compared with those without.

Dr Chris Steele demonstrates breast exam live on This Morning

Researchers said the findings could reassure women worried their genetics might affect their treatment

Researchers said the findings could reassure women worried their genetics might affect their treatment

Now, they plan to investigate whether the genes which are known to increase the risk of breast cancer have any impact on the effectiveness of different anti-cancer treatments, including chemotherapy.

Professor Diana Eccles, also of the University of Southampton and the principal investigator in the study said: ‘There is some evidence in laboratory experiments and observations in humans that BRCA1 gene carriers in particular may be more sensitive to certain types of chemotherapy.

‘If the outlook is more optimistic than might be expected for these patients, this will help in planning future preventive surgical options at the time of breast cancer treatment.’

The study published in the British Journal of Surgery and was funded by Cancer Research UK.

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Epileptic mother causes three vehicle crash

Newcastle court buildingsEpileptic mother causes three vehicle crash
Newcastle court buildingsPhoto:

A 39-year-old mother suffering from epilepsy caused a three vehicle smash when she suffered a fit behind the wheel of a car she should never have been driving.

Shelley Law, who had just a provisional licence, suffered a seizure after she took her boyfriend’s Peugeot without his permission to go on a shopping trip.

Newcastle Crown Court heard her vehicle smashed into a Citroen containing a family of four, who all suffered slight whiplash, including a two-year-old toddler who was left ‘scared, screaming in pain and in shock’.

Law’s vehicle then smashed into a gas works van, which was parked on the road with no driver inside.

All three vehicles were damaged in the smash at the junction of Lobley Hill Road and Queensway north in Gateshead last September.

The defendant’s errand had been shopping. That is why she got into the Peugeot 307 without permission.

The defendant was extremely open with police at the scene. She was first to say she had had an epileptic attack at the wheel and was also content to accept that that had caused it.

Knowing of her epilepsy is the aggravating feature. It is a unique feature in many ways.

It was epilepsy she knew about. Notwithstanding that, she got in the car without his permission, without his knowledge, without his consent and has had a fit at the wheel.


The court heard Law had used the spare emergency key to drive the car, which had been parked on the couple’s drive.

Law, of Rose Street, Gateshead, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and driving with no licene or insurance.

The court heard she has held a provisional driving licence for over 20 years but has never sat a test and did not inform the DVLA of her epilepsy when it developed eight years ago.streaming Power Rangers 2017 film

Mr recorder Simon Phillips QC sentenced Law to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months with supervision and a two year road ban.

He said there was “no doubt” Law’s provisional licence would have been revoked if the authorities had known of her illness.

When you took it upon yourself to get into your partner’s car and drive it from your home address you did so knowing you were at risk of epileptic seizure.

There could have been fatalities.

It was a selfish act.

Your misconduct was dangerous and put other people at real risk in terms of their lives.


She has recklessly taken the car. Not in the sense of people taking cars, stealing them for joyriding, but for a genuine need to get some food.

She should have thought more about the risk because of her epilepsy.

She is exceedingly fearful today, she is shaking with fear, in a terrible state.

She is an absolutely broken lady.

She is a decent person who has made a stupid decision.

Further Evidence: Menstrual Cycle ‘Affects Seizure Frequency In Women With Epilepsy

A young woman looking to the side. Ref:

A new US study has provided further evidence of the impact that the menstrual cycle can have on seizure patterns among women with epilepsy.trailer movie J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only 2017

The purpose of this research, led by the Harvard Neuroendocrine Unit, was to determine whether seizure frequency and cycle days with seizure occurrence vary across the menstrual cycle.

A total of 100 women with intractable focal onset seizures between the ages of 13 and 45 years were involved in the study, with each subject recording seizures and menstrual patterns during a three-month baseline phase.

It was found that seizure numbers and cycle days with seizure occurrence varied across the menstrual cycle, with an approximately twofold difference between the highest and lowest values for both seizure frequency and days with occurrence.

The researchers concluded: “The demonstration of variation in seizure frequency and cycle days with seizure occurrence across the menstrual cycle, as well as identification of specific days that have substantially higher or lower frequencies than other days, supports the existence of catamenial epilepsy.”

A term used to describe seizures that occur around the menstrual cycle, catamenial epilepsy is thought to be a common phenomenon, with around half of all women of childbearing age with epilepsy reporting an increase in seizures around the time of their periods.

New Study Sheds Further Light On Pregnancy Risks In Women With Epilepsy

Ultrasound image of a baby

A new study has provided fresh evidence of the heightened risk of foetal developmental problems affecting the children of women with epilepsy.

Led by researchers from Innlandet Hospital Trust in Norway, the study aimed to investigate intrauterine growth of foetuses in women with epilepsy, as compared with controls, and explore whether this growth was affected by prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).

Data was obtained from prospectively registered data regarding pregnancy and prenatal and perinatal factors in women in Oppland County in Norway, with the final analysis including information from 166 mothers with epilepsy and 287 children. These findings were compared to a control group consisting of 40,553 pregnancies in women without epilepsy registered in the same database.

According to results published in the medical journal Seizure, there was a significantly higher risk in the epilepsy group of infants being small for their gestational age (SGA), as well as being more likely to have a low score on the ponderal index, which calculates the relationship between mass and height as a measure of leanness.trailer film Split

Exposure to AEDs was shown to increase the risk, with the frequency of SGA and low ponderal index highest among infants exposed to the drug lamotrigine. In the AED group, head circumference was also revealed to be significantly smaller among babies whose mothers were treated with carbamazepine.

The researchers concluded: “The epilepsy group had a higher risk profile for having smaller babies, in being younger at age, lower in body weight and more frequent smokers. However, despite these differences, the effects of epilepsy and AED exposure were significant.

“The ponderal index may be a useful supplement to more established measures assessing intrauterine growth in epilepsy.”

These findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that remaining on AEDs during pregnancy can be risky for women with epilepsy, underlining the need for patients in this position to consult their doctors on the best course of action.

Medical safety alert Defect with Epilim/ sodium valproate gastro-resistant tablets – some batches have an odour

(Aventis Pharma Limited and Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK Limited) The smell associated with some batches is said to be a result of the foil packaging, but patients should continue taking their medicine. (EL (15)A/02)

Product details

Aventis Pharma Limited

Epilim 200mg sastro-resistant Tablets, PL 04425/0302, Sanofi Livery

Batch number Expiry date Pack size First distributed
J601 Aug 2016 1 x 100 23 Oct 2014
J602 Aug 2016 1 x 100 12 Nov 2014
J603 Aug 2016 1 x 100 03 Dec 2014
K1 Jun 2017 1 x 100 29 Dec 2014
K2 Sep 2017 1 x 100 09 Jan 2015
K3 Sep 2017 1 x 100 06 Feb 2015
K7 Sep 2017 1 x 100 05 Jan 2015

Epilim 500mg Gastro-resistant Tablets, PL 04425/0303, Sanofi Livery

Batch number Expiry date Pack size First distributed
J602 Aug 2016 1 x 100 19 Dec 2014
J603 Aug 2016 1 x 100 06 Jan 2015
K1 Jun 2017 1 x 100 22 Jan 2015
K2 Jun 2017 1 x 100 06 Feb 2015

Winthrop Pharmaceuticals UK Limited

Sodium Valproate Zentiva 200mg Gastro-resistant Tablets, PL 17780/0453, Zentiva Livery

Batch number Expiry date Pack size First distributed
K1 Jun 2017 1 x 100 02 Oct 2014

Sodium Valproate Zentiva 500mg Gastro-resistant Tablets, PL 17780/0454, Zentiva Livery

Batch number Expiry date Pack size First distributed
J601 Aug 2016 1 x 100 01 Oct 2014

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Drug alert: Epilim 200/ 500mg gastro-resistant tablets/ sodium valproate zentiva 200mg/500mg – smell with foil packaging