Research Topic

Short- and long- term neurological and psychiatric sequelae of developmental exposure to antiepileptic and anesthetic drugs

  • Submission closed.

About this Research Topic

The use of antiepileptic or anesthetic drugs during gestation and infancy is one of the thorniest issues in clinical neurology and neonatology. This is because the developing brain is exquisitely sensitive to drug-induced perturbations of the chemical environment of neurons. Therefore, increasing attention is ...

The use of antiepileptic or anesthetic drugs during gestation and infancy is one of the thorniest issues in clinical neurology and neonatology. This is because the developing brain is exquisitely sensitive to drug-induced perturbations of the chemical environment of neurons. Therefore, increasing attention is being devoted to identifying therapeutic strategies to avoid/minimize adverse developmental outcomes while maximizing clinical benefits to neonates and pregnant women.

The scope of this clinical problem is great: over half a million women of childbearing age are treated for epilepsy in the United States alone. Moreover, antiepileptic drugs and anesthesia are interventions frequently required for the medical treatment of neonates. The problem is even greater in developing countries where older, more toxic drugs are in widespread use.

Clinically, exposure to these agents during brain maturation has been associated with alterations in cognitive performance later in life. The possibility that pre- or post-natal exposure to these drugs may be a risk factor for neuropsychiatric outcomes (such as autism and schizophrenia) has been suggested. Preclinical evidence showing induction of neuronal apoptosis following brief exposure to antiepileptic and anesthetic drugs in immature animals has raised concerns about potential long-term neurotoxicity, as have animal models in which developmental drug exposure results in adverse behavioral outcomes. The extent to which the preclinical findings translate to the human is a pressing topic of discussion.

To integrate the basic and clinical findings, several questions must be answered:
How does the time course of brain development in experimental animals map onto brain development in humans? What neurological and psychiatric abnormalities occur following developmental exposure to the drugs? How does prenatal drug exposure compare with neonatal drug exposure? What are the sensitive periods for toxicity to various drugs? Can research on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders help to inform studies on antiepileptic and anesthetic drugs? What are the mechanisms by which early life drug exposure alters nervous system function in adulthood?

Through molecular, genetic, histopathological, electrophysiological and behavioral assessment of animal models, and through analysis of clinical outcomes in humans, we intend to highlight the current state of knowledge and key targets for future research. A special emphasis will be placed on novel therapeutic paradigms to minimize, avoid, or ameliorate the deleterious effects of antiepileptic drugs and anesthetics on the developing brain, while maximizing clinical benefit.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Recent Articles

Loading..

About Frontiers Research Topics

With their unique mixes of varied contributions from Original Research to Review Articles, Research Topics unify the most influential researchers, the latest key findings and historical advances in a hot research area! Find out more on how to host your own Frontiers Research Topic or contribute to one as an author.

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..

Topic Editors

Loading..

Submission Deadlines

Submission closed.

Participating Journals

Loading..
Loading..

total views article views article downloads topic views

}
 
Top countries
Top referring sites
Loading..

Comments

Loading..

Add a comment

Add comment
Back to top