-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SATURDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Seizures among women of
childbearing age with epilepsy may worsen during menstruation or
ovulation, researchers have found.
In the study, investigators at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
at the University of California, Irvine, examined the trend of
seizures associated with menstrual cycles (called "catamenial"
seizures) among a group of women aged 19 to 50.
The study participants responded to a questionnaire about the
worsening of their seizures during their menstrual cycle, and the
researchers used these responses as well as the women's monthly
seizure calendars to identify those with catamenial seizures.
Among the women with catamenial seizures, the investigators
examined the type of epilepsy they had, the frequency of their
seizures, their response to medications as well as neuroimaging
findings and seizures during pregnancy, according to a news release
from the American Epilepsy Society.
Two-thirds of the women with catamenial epilepsy had a diagnosis
of partial epilepsy. The rest had primary generalized epilepsy.
Meanwhile, about 75 percent of the women with catamenial epilepsy
had medically refractory seizures -- which means they're resistant
to treatment. The rate was twice that of their peers with epilepsy
who did not have catamenial seizures.
A high percentage of women with catamenial epilepsy who had
children reported having more seizures during pregnancy, according
to the study authors, Avriel Linane and Mona Sazgar.
The study findings were slated to be presented Sunday at the
annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society in Baltimore. The
data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until
published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The Epilepsy Foundation of America has more about
women and epilepsy.
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