A first step in understanding anti-epileptic medications and birth defects

A study, led by Associate Professor Piero Perucca from Monash University’s Department of Neuroscience is the first to investigate whether anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) taken during pregnancy can increase de novo variants in a baby’s genes, which was previously thought to be related to birth defects associated with the drugs.

The study, recently published in the prestigious journal Annals of Neurology, found that AEDs taken during pregnancy do not increase the number of de novo variants in the baby, irrespective of whether the baby had birth defects or not, indicating that AEDs were not a major contributor.

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