Seizures During Menstrual Cycle Tied to Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

Brain and brain waves in epilepsy, computer illustration. This EEG (electroencephalogram) illustration shows generalized epilepsy, affecting the whole brain cortex: all the EEG traces show chaotic brain waves. Epilepsy can take many forms, and have different effects. This could illustrate both benign epilepsy (inherited childhood form that normally improves with age), and myoclonic epilepsy (form that causes muscle contractions). An EEG measures electrical activity in the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp.
In women with genetic generalized epilepsy, having more frequent seizures during the menstrual cycle is associated with drug-resistant epilepsy.

HealthDay News — In women with genetic generalized epilepsy (GGE), having more frequent seizures during the menstrual cycle is associated with drug-resistant epilepsy, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in Neurology.

Hyunmi Choi, M.D., from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues developed and validated a clinical prediction model for antiepileptic drug-resistant (AED-resistant) GGE. Using data from ongoing longitudinal observational studies, the researchers identified 122 people with AED-resistant GGE and 468 with AED-responsive GGE. In the external validation dataset, there were 66 GGE patients, of whom 17 were cases.

The researchers found that catamenial epilepsy, history of a psychiatric condition, and seizure types were strongly related with drug-resistant GGE case status. Women with catamenial epilepsy had about a fourfold increased risk for AED-resistant GGE compared with women without catamenial epilepsy. The agreement between observed outcomes and predictions was adequate in calibration of the three models, with discriminative ability ranging from 0.58 to 0.65 for the area under the receiver operating curve (AUC).

“The AUC of 0.6 is not consistent with truly effective separation of the groups, suggesting other unmeasured variables may need to be considered in future studies to improve predictability,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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