Conference Coverage

‘Alarming’ rate of abuse in pregnant women with epilepsy


From AES 2021

Stress a common seizure trigger

Commenting on the research, Kimford Meador, MD, professor, Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, noted the study was well conducted and had a large sample size.

The findings are important, as stress is a common trigger for seizures in people with epilepsy and is associated with mood and anxiety, which can affect quality of life, said Dr. Meador.

Results of his analysis from the Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD) study, also presented at this year’s AES meeting, showed that women with epilepsy had more depressive symptoms during the postpartum period and more anxiety symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum in comparison with those without epilepsy.

Dr. Meador’s group also recently conducted a study that was published in JAMA Neurology, showing that in women with epilepsy during the postpartum period, anxiety is associated with lower cognitive ability in their children at age 2 years.

“All these findings highlight the importance of assessing and managing stress, anxiety, and mood in women with epilepsy,” said Dr. Meador. “Interventions could impact seizures and quality of life in pregnant women with epilepsy and long-term outcomes in their children.”

A version of this article first appeared on


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