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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 58 (2016) 3, 228 - 231

Case report

A girl with foetal valproate syndrome and autism spectrum disorder

I. Solignac

We study the case of a 12-year-old girl who, following intra-uterine exposure to valproate, was diagnosed with foetal valproate syndrome, characterised at birth by dysmorphic features. The use of valproate during pregnancy (because of epilepsy or bipolar disorder) can cause not only structural defects in the growing foetus, but also problems in cognitive development and in adaptive and emotional/behavioural functioning in later life. We evaluate these domains of development in our discussion and suggest several other drugs, less harmful than valproate, which can be used to treat epilepsy or bipolar disorder during pregnancy.

keywords autism spectrum disorder, pregnancy, valproate