Pregnancy ‘has an inherent negative impact on epilepsy control’

A new study has offered evidence that pregnancy has an inherent negative impact on seizure control on epilepsy patients.

Conducted by the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland, the research aimed to determine whether being pregnant alters epileptic seizure control in its own right, even with no antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) involved.

Published in the medical journal Acta Neurologica Scandinavia, the study assessed 148 pregnancies in women who did not take AEDs for several weeks prior to pregnancy and for at least the first half of pregnancy. For 69 of the pregnancies no AEDs were taken at any stage (of pregnancy).

It was shown that more women experienced seizures of some kind during pregnancy than in the pre-pregnancy year, with this also being the case for convulsive seizures. This remained the case when taking into account factors such as late pre-pregnancy drug withdrawal or treatment resumption in pregnancy possibly preventing seizure recurrence.

There was also a greater tendency for seizure control to be lost during pregnancy in genetic generalised than in focal epilepsies, though this trend was not deemed to be statistically significant.

The research concluded: “Irrespective of its effects on antiepileptic drug disposition, being pregnant per se seems to impair epileptic seizure control.”

Posted by Anne Brown

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