A recent study that was conducted on rats has found that the drug phenobarbital stunts neuronal growth. This makes many wonder if using the drug is the right things to do in treating newborns with epilepsy. The study was published in Annals of Neurology’s EarlyView.
Of this study, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) are saying that the phenobarbital was given to rat pups at the age of a week old. This caused a change in how pups’ brains were wired, which is what caused them cognitive abnormalities later on in their life. The researchers say while it is common knowledge that epileptic drugs caused an increase in the amount of neurons that died just after the rats birth, this study is the first one to explore whether this causes any adverse reactions on the brain’s later development.
“Our study is the first to show that the exposure to these drugs — and just a single exposure — can prevent brain circuits from developing their normal connectivity, meaning they may not be wired correctly, which can have long-lasting effects on brain function,” says the study’s senior investigator, Karen Gale, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology at GUMC. “These findings suggest that in the growing brain, these drugs are not as benign as one would like to believe. The good news is not all anti-epilepsy drugs have this disruptive effect in the animal studies.”
Other drugs are also used to treat epilepsy, including Topamax. The ironic thing is that Topamax is known to cause various adverse side effects which include birth defects in babies whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant. Topamax causes birth defects that include PPHN, oral clefts, cleft palate, spina bifida and neural defects.
If your child was born with birth defects and you have taken Topamax, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting Topamax lawsuits and may be able to help you recover money for your child’s injuries.