Journal article

Does pregnancy per se make epilepsy worse?

FJE Vajda, TJ O'Brien, CM Lander, J Graham, MJ Eadie

Acta Neurologica Scandinavica | WILEY-BLACKWELL | Published : 2016


OBJECTIVE: To determine whether being pregnant in its own right alters epileptic seizure control. MATERIALS/METHODS: Study of 148 pregnancies in women who took no antiepileptic drugs before pregnancy and in at least the earlier half of pregnancy, 69 taking none throughout pregnancy. RESULTS: More women (P < 0.01) had seizures of any type during pregnancy (45.9%) than in the prepregnancy year (34.5%), and also convulsive seizures (30.4% vs 12.3%). After excluding potential confounding factors, viz. late prepregnancy drug withdrawal, treatment resumption in pregnancy possibly preventing seizure recurrence, the figures became seizures of any type 56.6% during and 35.5% before pregnancy and conv..

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Funding Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the help provided by medical and non-medical colleagues who referred patients and increased patient awareness of the Australian Pregnancy Register from which the present material is drawn, and thank the Scientific Advisory Board and the Ethical Research Committees of St. Vincent's Hospital, Monash Medical Centre, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and other institutions for their ethics oversight of the Register. The Register is grateful for support from the Epilepsy Society of Australia, The Royal Melbourne Hospital Neuroscience Foundation, Epilepsy Australia and for financial support from the NHMRC and the following pharmaceutical companies, Sanofi-Aventis, UCB Pharma, Janssen-Cilag, Novartis, Sci-Gen, Eisai and Genzyme.