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Risk Factor: Gender

December 20, 2019
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Transcript

The other population that's uniquely affected by epilepsy are women. And the interesting thing is that women have a couple of things that affect them differently. One, your, your hormones have a specific effect on epilepsy. And the sort of, the way that I think about it is that estrogen is proconvulsant and progesterone is anticonvulsant. And so anytime you either have a spike in estrogen, which is sort of observation or a relative increase in estrogen and decrease in progesterone, which is right around the menses, your period, that seizures can be more frequent. And the majority of women, 60%, some may say more, but in that range notice a variation in their seizure frequency with their cycle. And, you know, it used to be a fallacy in the past that women with epilepsy shouldn't have children, which is absolutely silly, but women with epilepsy do have to sort of face the fact that they do have a higher rate of having children with birth defects. This is, we think more related to medication than anything else. And I often sort of preface my description to women saying, and this is, I give a statistic that sounds really scary, and then try to explain why it shouldn't sound quite so scary.

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