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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 599-604

Short-term use of antiepileptic drugs is neurotoxic to the immature brain


Department of Pediatrics, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China

Correspondence Address:
Lin Yang
Department of Pediatrics, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province
China
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Source of Support: This study was financially supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30973224; Talent Cultivation Funds of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University of China, No. RC(XM)200908; a grant from the Key Science and Technology Project of Shaanxi Province of China, No. 2006k15-G1(2)., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.155434

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Previous studies have shown that the long-term use of antiepileptic drugs can cause nervous system damage. However, short-term antiepileptic drug treatment is frequently given to infants, especially neonates, to control seizure. Whether the short-term use of antiepileptic drugs is neurotoxic remains unclear. In the present study, immature rats, 3-21 days of age, were intraperitoneally injected with phenobarbital and/or topiramate for 3 consecutive days. Hematoxylin-eosin and immunohistochemical staining revealed that phenobarbital and topiramate, individually or in combination, were cytotoxic to hippocampal CA1 neurons and inhibited the expression of GluR1 and NR2B, excitatory glutamate receptor subunits. Furthermore, the combination of the two drugs caused greater damage than either drug alone. The results demonstrate that the short-term use of antiepileptic drugs damages neurons in the immature brain and that the combined use of antiepileptic drugs exacerbates damage. Our findings suggest that clinicians should consider the potential neurotoxic risk associated with the combined use of antiepileptic drugs in the treatment of seizure.


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