Postersession 1
Poster #: 43
Topic: Development (infancy, childhood, adolescence, and aging)
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015
1st floor

Auditory event-related potentials indexing memory and change-detection in newborn infants who were exposed to antiepileptic medication during the fetal period

Minna Huotilainen1, Mari Katri Videman, Satu Pakarinen1, Iina Ala-Kurikka, Taina Nybo, Sampsa Vanhatalo, Reina Roivainen, & Eija Gaily

1Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Exposure to antiepileptic drugs in young animals can result in cognitive problems. In humans, an increased risk for cognitive dysfunction after fetal exposure to antiepileptic drugs has been reported in follow-up studies which are vulnerable for confounding factors.

We recorded MMNs from 47 infants exposed to antiepileptic drugs during the fetal period. The treatment was with a single drug for 35 and with two or more for 12 mothers. Control infants were from mothers matched in age, education, and family background. The multifeature paradigm had a standard bi-syllabic pseudoword and frequency, intensity, vowel duration, consonant duration, and wowel identity deviants. In addition, three emotionally uttered versions of the pseudoword were presented as infrequently occurring novel sounds (happy, angry, sad). This paradigm allows the comparison of change-related responses with respect to the speech-relevant features as well as emotional-sound induced responses.

The direct comparison of ERPs from the exposed group and from the control group showed differences in the frequency change detection and in the emotional responses between the two groups. The responses for the frequency changes and for the happy emotions were smaller in the exposed group than in the control group. The responses to the angry and sad emotions had a different response pattern in the exposed than in the control group.

Different types of antiepileptic drugs and their doses should be studied separately to reveal possible differences in the effects. These data allow such comparisons to a small extent. More research is needed to confirm and extend the findings.