In a prospective study of women with epilepsy, researchers found blood levels of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) in their breastfed infants to be either undetectable or well below the therapeutic range. They reported the findings here Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.
A new study undertaken jointly by researchers from the Sagol Department of Neurobiology at the University of Haifa and European researchers, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, exposes a new biological mechanism that, on the one hand, damages a very specific type of memory, but at the same time provides resistance to epilepsy.
Mutations in a gene called SCN2A have opposite effects in autism and in epilepsy. The divergence makes the gene an attractive candidate for research, suggest unpublished results presented today at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease whereby the body’s own immune system attacks the joints. New research suggests there may be a link between mothers with the autoimmune disorder and their children who develop epilepsy.
A New York State study found that younger, not older women suffered an increase risk of stroke, both during pregnancy and in postpartum. Younger women — not older women — had an increased risk of stroke during pregnancy and the postpartum period compared to non-pregnant women of the same age, according to the results of a new study published online October 24, 2016 in JAMA Neurology. Overall, pregnancy-associated stroke (PAS) accounted for 15 percent of strokes in women aged 12 to 24 years; 20 percent of strokes in women aged 25 to 34 years; 5 percent of strokes in women aged 35 to 44 years; and 0.05 percent of strokes in women aged 45 to 50 years.
Two epilepsy drugs, levetiracetam and topiramate, may not harm the thinking skills and IQs of school-age children born to women who took them while pregnant, according to a recent study. The research is published in the August 31, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. However, the drug valproate is associated with lower IQs in children, especially at higher dosages. Valproate, levetiracetam and topiramate are approved by the FDA to treat seizures. Valproate is a commonly prescribed antiepileptic medication, and has been linked to birth defects and developmental problems. Levetiracetam and topiramate are newer drugs, and few studies have looked at their effects on child development and thinking.
With careful management, most women with epilepsy can safely give birth to a healthy baby. If you or someone you love is a woman with epilepsy, then you may be wondering if motherhood is an option. The good news is that in most cases, the answer is yes. But not everyone is aware of the possibilities. When one of my patients and her husband desired to start a family, they were concerned because her childhood seizures had recently recurred after almost a decade of good control. Now she was having “petit mal” seizures almost every day, causing brief interruptions in her awareness of her surroundings. If Sarah did get pregnant, would her baby be healthy? And if her seizures remained frequent after delivery, would she be able to care for her child?
If pregnant women take antiepileptic drugs, the child can develop autistic traits. The administration of folic acid preparations appears to be a suitable means of preventing this serious side-effect. This finding is suggested by a Norwegian study presented at the Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Copenhagen. Having a sufficiently high level of folic acid is especially important for pregnant women who have to take antiepileptic drugs. Dr Marte Helene Bjørk from the University of Bergen in Norway had this to say on the subject at the Second Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) in Copenhagen: “Suitable nutritional supplements could substantially contribute to protecting the child from a possible side-effect of antiepileptic drugs, namely from autism.”...