US FDA on 28 May 2013 made an announcement through their website that Valporate sodium and valporic acid or its derivatives drugs should not be prescribed to a pregnant women, and to a women planing pregnancy, as it might cause decrease cognitive ability in child born to mother who has taken Valporate sodium or valporic acid. Valporate sodium or valporic acid is a drug which is used in to treat mental disorders like bipolar disorder and seizures.
This announcement is based on the out come of clinical study undertaken to evaluate effect of antiepileptic drugs on neurological development of children’s born to mothers who had taken antiepileptic drugs and the study is known as : Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD) study, in this study it was found that children born to mother who had taken Valporates in pregnancy were with lower IQ, compared to others who had taken other antiepileptic drugs like phenytoin lamotrigine and carbamazepine.
Valporate is widely used in treatment of mental disorder like bipolar disorder and seizures, it has useful effect in treatment of schizophrenia as well, and have proved a drug of choice in treatment of mental disorders.
Is valporic acid responsible for Autism?
Drug Valporate sodium / valporic acid has its own draw back that it causes teratogenic effect in human , which means it can change several gens in developmental stages of a fetus and might be one of several reason for developing autism spectrum disorder or low IQ level in a child born to mother who has taken Valporate sodium or valporic acid for gaining relief from migraine and epilepsy and disturbed mental conditions in women associated with pregnancy .
The teratogenic effect of the drug might be justified by just having information of chemical structure of valproic acid, it has chemical structure which is capable of forming hydrogen bonding with several nucleic acids the building blocks of DNA and RNA.
Autism spectrum disorder is caused due to changes in several gens while developmental stages in pregnancy. Hence it can not be ruled out that valporic acid and its derivates is not responsible for Autism.
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