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Adverse drug reactions from psychotropic medicines in the paediatric population: analysis of reports to the Danish Medicines Agency over a decade

Lise Aagaard* and Ebba H Hansen

BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:176  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-176

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Developing brain cells as drug targets

Heikki Savolainen   (2010-08-09 17:03)  Dept. of Occup. Safety & Hlth., Tampere, Finland email

Dear Editor,

This highly interesting investigation shows that newborn babies and infants are very prone to adverse drug reactions by psychoactive medication (1).

This is most probably due to the ongoing development and maturation of the central nervous system. Myelination and myelin maturation continue until the late teens (2).

The same applies to neural networks, and interestingly the protein synthesis of the nerve cells undergoes differentiation specific changes. For instance, marked maturation of neural histones takes place (3). At this stage, they may be more vulnerable to agents that affect the acetylation/deacetylation cycle known to be critically involved in the genomic expression. Valproate is e.g. an inhibitor of histone deacetylase.

Thus the findings of the study (1) are entirely biologically plausible.

1 Aagaard L, Hansen EH. Adverse drug reactions from psychotropic medicines in the pediatric population: analysis of reports to the Danish Medicines Agency over a decade. BMC Res Notes 2010; 3: 176

2 Savolainen H, Palo J, Riekkinen P, et al. Maturation of myelin proteins in human brain. Brain Res 1972; 37: 253

3 Savolainen H. Differentiation of human cortical neurons: proteins of subcellular particles. Comp Biochem Physiol 1973; 44B: 467

Competing interests

None

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