Anticonvulsants and Autism

Anticonvulsants (also known as antiepileptics or AEDs) are a group of drugs which aim to prevent or reduce the severity of fits (convulsions) in various types of epilepsy. They work by acting on the brain and central nervous system.

There are a number of different anticonvulsants including carbamazepine, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, sodium valproate and topiramate, each of which is sold under a variety of brand names.

Some anticonvulsants are also used to treat some of the symptoms of other conditions. For example, some forms of sodium valproate are used to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder (such as mania, impulsivity, irritability and aggression) and others are used to treat migraine headaches.

Some people believe that anticonvulsants can also be used to reduce some of the core symptoms of autism, such as social and communication difficulties and repetitive, compulsive behaviour.

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18 Jun 2018