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September 2015

Risks of Epilepsy During Pregnancy: How Much Do We Really Know?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Langone School of Medicine, New York University, New York
  • 2Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California
JAMA Neurol. 2015;72(9):973-974. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.1356

Epilepsy is a common disease that affects 1 in 26 individuals in their lifetime.1 According to a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke assessment, with 2 million affected individuals, epilepsy ranks only fourth to migraine, stroke, and Alzheimer disease in the prevalence of neurological disorders. Epilepsy affects more people than autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson disease combined.2 Approximately 0.3% to 0.5% of all pregnancies are among women with epilepsy (WWE).3 The risks during pregnancy in WWE have been uncertain.4

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