The research project Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD), is a prospective looking at outcomes in pregnant women with epilepsy and their children, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The study was done on 382 children who were assessed for language development at age two. The researchers also compared developmental scores with third trimester blood levels of antiseizure medication in these children.
‘Controlling epilepsy with lamotrigine or levetiracetam during pregnancy may be safe for babies.’
Kids born to healthy women and those born to women with epilepsy do not show significant differences in language development scores at age two. Their language development was not linked to third trimester blood levels of epilepsy medications.
Kids born to mothers with the very highest levels of antiseizure medication in the blood during the third trimester did have somewhat lower scores on tests in the motor and general adaptive domains, which refer to skills related to self-care, such as feeding.
Follow up will done until kids reached 6 years. Results indicate that controlling epilepsy with these medications during pregnancy may be safe for babies.