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Catamenial Seizures

Catamenial Epilepsy Pathophysiology

Catamenial epilepsy is a form of seizure disorder which is related to the hormonal changes during menstrual cycling in normal women. It has been found to account for about a third of women with epilepsy.

Catamenial Epilepsy

Catamenial epilepsy is a form of seizure disorder that occurs in women with the frequency of the seizures related to the time of the menstrual cycle. Its name comes from the Greek word “katomenios”, meaning “monthly”. It seems to be caused by fluctuations in the level of estrogen and progesterone. It makes up about 10% to 70% of epileptic disorders in women of reproductive age.   Progesterone is an endogenous steroid and progestogen sex hormone Credit: Igor Petrushenko/ Shutterstock.com

Catamenial Seizures: The Link Between Menstruation and Seizures

For women, seizures can be linked to more than just abnormal signals within the brain. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, about half of women with epilepsy who are considered of childbearing age suffer from seizures during menstruation. Known as catamenial seizures, these are directly related to hormone fluctuations and can be difficult to control. The good news is that these types of seizures are also predictable. Learning about catamenial seizures is the first step to treatment. What Causes Catamenial Seizures? Catamenial seizures occur in menstruating women as a result of changes in sex hormones. The two main players are estrogen and progesterone. While these hormones are most often viewed from a reproductive health standpoint, the brain is actually in control of them. In turn, sex h...

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