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July 1987

Nocturnal Plasma Prolactin and Cortisol Levels in Epileptics With Complex Partial Seizures and Primary Generalized Seizures

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology (Drs Molaie and Culebras) and Medical Services (Dr Miller), Veterans Administration Medical Center, and the Departments of Neurology (Drs Molaie and Culebras) and Medicine (Dr Miller), State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse.

Arch Neurol. 1987;44(7):699-702. doi:10.1001/archneur.1987.00520190011008

• The nocturnal pattern of plasma prolactin (PRL) and cortisol in male epileptics with complex partial seizures and primary generalized seizures was studied by allnight polygraphic recordings with continuous video monitoring and sequential blood sampling at 30-minute intervals. Mean nocturnal plasma PRL concentrations in both groups of epileptics were significantly elevated when compared with nonepileptic control subjects studied in a similar fashion. Eight subclinical and three clinical partial seizures were recorded during sleep. Although a tenfold increase of plasma PRL level occurred following a short brief clinical complex partial seizure, there was no direct correlation between single subclinical partial seizures and nocturnal fluctuations of plasma PRL concentrations. We did not observe recognizable plasma cortisol changes following partial seizures during sleep, nor significant differences of mean nocturnal plasma cortisol levels between epileptics and controls. The data obtained in this environmentally controlled study indicate that postictal elevation of plasma PRL is a specific phenomenon related to seizure discharges; however, failure of such a rise does not exclude partial seizures.

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