Publications by authors named "Rebecca Louise Bromley"

3 Publications

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Neurodevelopmental outcomes in children exposed to newer antiseizure medications: A systematic review.

Epilepsia 2021 Jun 14. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Division of Evolution and Genomic Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

As prenatal exposure to certain older antiseizure medications (ASMs) has been linked with poorer neurodevelopmental outcomes in children, the use of newer ASMs throughout pregnancy has increased. The current review aimed to delineate the impact of in utero exposure to these newer ASMs on child neurodevelopment. A systematic search of MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature Plus, and PsycINFO was conducted, limiting results to articles available in English and published after the year 2000. Studies investigating neurodevelopmental outcomes following in utero exposure to the following ASMs were eligible for inclusion in the review: eslicarbazepine, gabapentin, lacosamide, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, oxcarbazepine, perampanel, topiramate, and zonisamide. Thirty-five publications were identified, and a narrative synthesis was undertaken. Methodological quality was variable, with distinct patterns of strengths/weaknesses attributable to design. Most studies examined lamotrigine exposure and reported nonsignificant effects on child neurodevelopment. Comparatively fewer high-quality studies were available for levetiracetam, limiting conclusions regarding findings to date. Data for topiramate, gabapentin, and oxcarbazepine were so limited that firm conclusions could not be drawn. Concerningly, no studies investigated eslicarbazepine, lacosamide, perampanel, or zonisamide. Exposure to certain newer ASMs, such as lamotrigine and levetiracetam, does not thus far appear to impact certain aspects of neurodevelopment, but further delineation across the different neurodevelopmental domains and dosage levels is required. A lack of data cannot be inferred to represent safety of newer ASMs, which are yet to be investigated.
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June 2021

Exome sequencing in patients with antiepileptic drug exposure and complex phenotypes.

Arch Dis Child 2020 04 3;105(4):384-389. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

Genetic Medicine, Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.

Introduction: Fetal anticonvulsant syndrome (FACS) describes the pattern of physical and developmental problems seen in those children exposed to certain antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in utero. The diagnosis of FACS is a clinical one and so excluding alternative diagnoses such as genetic disorders is essential.

Methods: We reviewed the pathogenicity of reported variants identified on exome sequencing in the Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD) Study in 42 children exposed to AEDs in utero, but where a diagnosis other than FACS was suspected. In addition, we analysed chromosome microarray data from 10 patients with FACS seen in a Regional Genetics Service.

Results: Seven children (17%) from the DDD Study had a copy number variant or pathogenic variant in a developmental disorder gene which was considered to explain or partially explain their phenotype. Across the AED exposure types, variants were found in 2/15 (13%) valproate exposed cases and 3/14 (21%) carbamazepine exposed cases. No pathogenic copy number variants were identified in our local sample (n=10).

Conclusions: This study is the first of its kind to analyse the exomes of children with developmental disorders who were exposed to AEDs in utero. Though we acknowledge that the results are subject to bias, a significant number of children were identified with alternate diagnoses which had an impact on counselling and management. We suggest that consideration is given to performing whole exome sequencing as part of the diagnostic work-up for children exposed to AEDs in utero.
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April 2020

The prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders in children prenatally exposed to antiepileptic drugs.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2013 Jun 31;84(6):637-43. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders in children exposed, in utero, to different antiepileptic drug treatments. A prospective cohort of women with epilepsy and a control group of women without epilepsy were recruited from antenatal clinics. The children of this cohort were followed longitudinally until 6 years of age (n=415). Diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental disorder was made independently of the research team. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed an increase in risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children exposed to monotherapy sodium valproate (VPA) (6/50, 12.0%; aOR 6.05, 95%CI 1.65 to 24.53, p=0.007) and in those exposed to polytherapy with sodium VPA (3/20, 15.0%; aOR 9.97, 95% CI 1.82 to 49.40, p=0.005) compared with control children (4/214; 1.87%). Autistic spectrum disorder was the most frequent diagnosis. No significant increase was found among children exposed to carbamazepine (1/50) or lamotrigine (2/30). An accumulation of evidence demonstrates that the risks associated with prenatal sodium VPA exposure include an increased prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders. Whether such disorders are discrete or represent the severe end of a continuum of altered neurodevelopmental functioning requires further investigation. Replication and extension of this research is required to investigate the mechanism(s) underpinning the relationship. Finally, the increased likelihood of neurodevelopmental disorders should be communicated to women for whom sodium VPA is a treatment option.
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June 2013