It has been found that the verbal IQ levels of children exposed to the epilepsy drug in utero was comparatively lower than children who were not exposed to the drug.
The study was conducted in 249 children between the ages of 6 and 16 who were born to mothers with epilepsy and tests were performed on both the mother and child to produce a neuropsychological profile for each child.
It was seen that 41 children exposed to valproic acid during pregnancy had an average verbal IQ score of 84, while other groups in the study had higher scores. The study also shows children exposed to sodium valproate while in the womb are more likely to have IQ scores lower than 69 and more likely to suffer from memory problems than unexposed children.
This retrospective study highlights the potential harmful effects of sodium valproate exposure in utero on neuropsychological development.