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The 1979 meeting of the German, Danish, Dutch, and Swiss Sections of the International League against Epilepsy focused on issues concerning many young epileptics—marriage, contraception, pregnancy, and the possibility that progeny may be malformed or epileptic. The proceedings of that congress are both a practical guide to physicians confronted by those questions and a selective review of the literature, especially the non-English language literature, which is cited too infrequently by American authors. This translation of the original German edition uses good idiomatic English.
Several portions deserve special mention. Dam and Dam thoroughly review the complex interactions between pregnancy and epilepsy and the effects of pregnancy on anticonvulsant metabolism, as it was understood in 1979. The practitioner should consult the current literature for more information concerning the use of carbamazepine and valproic acid during pregnancy. Dieter Janz lucidly refutes the widespread notion that anticonvulsants, particularly phenytoin, are proved human teratogens, by
Donaldson JO. Epilepsy: Problems of Marriage, Pregnancy, Genetic Counseling. Arch Neurol. 1983;40(6):395. doi:10.1001/archneur.1983.04050060095033
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