Previous studies with adults have shown that people taking anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are possibly at risk of lower bone mineral density (BMD). This increases their risk of broken bones with a simple injury. There is also evidence that those adults who started their AED treatment before the age of 18 had lower BMD than someone who started in adulthood.

Next the researchers want to look at a group of children and young people taking AEDs and compare their bone mineral density to a twin or same-sex sibling who isn’t taking AEDs to see if there is a difference.

What is involved?

The study requires the twins/triplets - with their parents - to make a single visit of around four hours to the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Here, the parents complete a questionnaire while the twins/triplets undertake a non-invasive bone density scan and bone age x-ray as well as a blood test, and strength and balance test.

As well as furthering knowledge about AEDs and bone health in young people, the study can be of direct benefit to those involved as the researchers will let parents know if their children’s test results are outside the norm in areas such as bone mineral density or vitamin D, and provide appropriate follow-up.

Who is eligible?

Twins and multiples aged 5-18yrs of the same gender, where one takes anti-epileptic medicine and the other doesn’t. The study can also involve twins or triplets who don’t take anti-epileptic medicine plus a same-sex sibling who does. The sibling needs to be within two years of age to the multiples. If you would like to be involved, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..