Women with epilepsy, without previous infertility and related disorders, who were attempting to get pregnant were as likely to conceive as their counterparts without epilepsy, according to findings recently published in JAMA Neurology. “Prior studies report lower birth rates for women with epilepsy but have been unable to differentiate between biological and social contributions,” Page B. Pennell, MD, department of neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues wrote. “To our knowledge, we do not have data to inform [women with epilepsy] seeking pregnancy if their likelihood of achieving pregnancy is biologically reduced compared with their peers.”
An infant’s scores on the so-called Apgar scale can predict the risk of a later diagnosis of cerebral palsy or epilepsy. The risk rises with decreasing Apgar score, but even slightly lowered scores can be linked to a higher risk of these diagnoses, according to an extensive observational study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the esteemed journal The BMJ.
Prenatal folic acid supplements were found to reduce the risk of autistic traits in children born to women who were taking antiepileptic drugs while pregnant, according to a study published online on December 26 in JAMA Neurology. The risk was less for these women compared with those who did not take folic acid supplements.
The risk was higher when the mother took high doses of the drug than when she took lower doses. A study says a higher dose of topiramate drug during the first tri-semester of pregnancy may up the risk of cleft lip or cleft palate more than when taking a lower dose. Topiramate is prescribed to prevent seizures in people with epilepsy. It is also used to prevent migraine headaches or treat bipolar disorder. In combination with phentermine, it may be prescribed for weight loss. “While topiramate is not recommended for pregnant women, unplanned pregnancies are common, so it’s important to fully examine any possible risk,” said Sonia Hernandez-Diaz, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. Adding, “Our study found that when pregnant women took topiramate during the f...
Researchers evaluated the safety of the anti-epileptic medication, lamotrigine use during pregnancy on newborns and child development. Most of the current evidence on antiepileptic drug (AED) use in pregnant women and the resulting increased incidence of child malformation and neurodevelopmental delay refers to the older generation of AEDs. Lamotrigine is a newer generation AED that is effective in treating a wide range of epileptic disorders and is generally well-tolerated and safe. Since there is currently no consensus on lamotrigine use in pregnancy and its impact on child malformations and neurodevelopment, researchers recently evaluated the impact of lamotrigine in children who were exposed to the drug in utero, that is, before birth.
Scanning a premature infant’s brain shortly after birth to map the location and volume of lesions, small areas of injury in the brain’s white matter, may help doctors better predict whether the baby will have disabilities later.
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.
ARTICLE IN BRIEF Women with epilepsy did not have any more problem getting pregnant than healthy controls, investigators reported in a new study Findings from a long-term observational study of women with epilepsy trying to get pregnant and age-matched healthy controls found that there are no differences in the time it takes to conceive a child and carry that child to term. The data, based on an analysis from the Women with Epilepsy: Pregnancy Outcomes and Deliveries (WEPOD) study, were presented April 17 at the AAN Annual Meeting in Vancouver.
Pregnant women with epilepsy should not rule out continuing lamotrigine therapy due to concerns that exposure could increase the risk of orofacial clefts (OCs) in their babies, say investigators. Their findings indicate that the excess risk of OC is less than one in every 550 babies exposed to lamotrigine and therefore they do not support the sixfold increased risk suggested by the North American antiepileptic drug registry in 2006, a signal that led to warnings of the risk being added to patient information.