The psychological development of children of epileptic parents. II. The differential impact of intrauterine exposure to anticonvulsant drugs and further influential factors

Acta Paediatr. 1994 Sep;83(9):961-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1994.tb13181.x.


After obtaining evidence that tetratogenic effects were operant in a sample of children born to epileptic mothers, we analyzed the effects of type of medication and further influential factors. Children with prenatal exposure to polytherapy had significantly lower scores than controls for a large number of psychological tests. In addition to polytherapy, there were even stronger effects of socioeconomic status and sex was found to be less influential than polytherapy. Among further epilepsy variables, only seizure frequency of the mother during pregnancy had a modest impact on the child's developmental outcome, whereas a score of obstetric abnormality was less effective in predicting developmental outcome, as measured and defined by various standardized psychological tests.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anticonvulsants / adverse effects*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / chemically induced*
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Epilepsy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mothers*
  • Motor Skills
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Prognosis
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Class


  • Anticonvulsants