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Valproate is a known human and animal teratogen that produces neural-tube defects. Valproate is also known to produce fetal death and a variety of fetal deformities. The present study considered the role of val pro ate as a behavioral teratogen in rats. Pregnant rats were administered saline or valproate, or simply handled at 10 days gestation and the offspring tested for a variety of behaviors and physical measures. Valproate-exposed animals demonstrated lags in the emergence of swimming behavior, negative geotaxis and weight gain. This evidence points to val pro ate being a behavioral teratogen producing delays in neuromuscular development.