Question - What characterizes the fetal valproate syndrome (FVS)?
Answer - The cited resource from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences reports “Fetal valproate syndrome (FVS) may occur if a developing baby is exposed to valproic acid during pregnancy. Valproic acid, also known as valproate, is a medication that is often used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, and migraines. Many babies who are exposed to this medication during pregnancy are born healthy with normal growth and development. However, studies have found that women who take valproate during pregnancy have a greater chance of having a baby with a major birth defect or other health problem. Symptoms of FVS vary but may include characteristic facial features, spina bifida, congenital heart defects, cleft lip and/or cleft palate, genital abnormalities, skeletal abnormalities, and developmental delay. A child exposed to valproic acid may be at a higher risk for learning and behavioral problems. Although there is no cure for FVS, many of the possible signs and symptoms of FVS do have treatments or therapies available. Early intervention programs may also be helpful.” (https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/5447/fetal-valproate-syndrome; accessed July 2018)