Seizure drug lowers IQ in children.Seizure drug lowers IQ in children
A widely used drug thought to prevent fever-induced seizures in infants and young children can lower scores on intelligence quotient intelligence quotient
n. Abbr. IQ
An index of measured intelligence expressed as the ratio of tested mental age to chronological age, multiplied by 100. tests, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a new scientific report. The authors of the report believe doctors should stop prescribing the drug, phenobarbital phenobarbital /phe·no·bar·bi·tal/ (fe?no-bahr´bi-tal) a long-acting barbiturate, used as the base or sodium salt as a sedative, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant.
n. , for young children.
Jacqueline R. Farwell of the University of Washington School of Medicine The University of Washington School of Medicine (UWSOM) is a public medical school located in Seattle, Washington. It is a graduate school affiliated with the University of Washington, and is the only medical school in the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, and Idaho. in Seattle and deborah G. Hirtz of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The NINDS conducts and supports research on brain and nervous system disorders. Created by the U.S. in Bethesda, Md., studied 217 children between 8 and 36 months of age who hadhad at least one fever-induced seizure in the past and were at high risk of having another such seizure. The researchers randomly assigned children to a treatment group that got 4 to 5 milligrams per kilogram of phenobarbital daily or to a control group getting placebo pills.
After two years of treatment, the researchers found children taking phenobarbital had a mean IQ test score 8.4 points lower than children taking the placebo. The team discontinued medication and placebo for six months and repeated the testing, finding children in the treatment group had a mean IQ 5.2 points lower than controls. In addition, the researchers found children taking phenobarbital were just as likely to suffer another fever-induced seizure as their untreated peers, indicating the drug is ineffective at preventing fever-induced seizures.
"I think [phenobarbital] should not be used for febrile seizures," Farwell says. Fever-induced seizures afflict af·flict
tr.v. af·flict·ed, af·flict·ing, af·flicts
To inflict grievous physical or mental suffering on.
[Middle English afflighten, from afflight, about 3 to 4 percent of all young children. In most cases such seizures don't cause any damage, but they are frightening to parents, Hirtz says. The researchers plan to follow the children in the study to see whether differences in cognitive performance persist over time.