Seizures that occur around the menstrual cycle are called catamenial epilepsy. Studies show that changes in seizures are most often in the. Catamenial epilepsy is defined as a pattern of seizures that changes in severity during particular phases of the menstrual cycle, wherein. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures. Catamenial epilepsy is a subset of epilepsy, which includes women whose.

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Convulsant actions of the neurosteroid pregnenolone sulfate in mice.

Women progressing through peri- and post-menopause using HRT may be in greater need of anticonvulsant medication catmaenial to maintain or reduce seizure occurrence. A woman with partial seizures, on the other hand, tends to have fewer seizures during days 16 to 28 and more just prior to ovulation and during menstruation. Circalunar and ultralunar periodicities in women with partial seizures.

Catamenial Seizures

Effect of norethisterone on seizures associated with menstruation. Allopregnanolone synthesis in cerebellar granule cells: In study by El-Khayat et al. Belelli D, Lambert JJ.

Introduction Women with epilepsy may have seizure patterns associated with changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. The marked hormonal changes that occur in the menopausal transition seem to have an effect on seizure susceptibility. The aim of this review is to report preclinical and clinical evidences about the relationship between female reproductive steroids and epileptic seizures, and to describe treatment approaches for catamenial epilepsy.

Females, their estrogens, and seizures.

Ovarian steroid modulation of seizure severity and hippocampal cell death after kainic acid treatment. In clinical studies, progesterone has been found to reduce seizures. In experimental studies on ovariectomized animals where hormonal changes are abrupt, in contrast to the gradual hormonal changes found in the menopausal transition, the concerted lack of estradiol and progesterone may facilitate the seizure susceptibility.


Estrogen and ovariectomy regulate mRNA and protein of glutamic acid decarboxylases and cation-chloride cotransporters in the adult rat hippocampus. In fact, progesterone is poorly absorbed orally and has a short half-life, so that it must be administered multiple times per day. The ovulatory phase is characterized by a surge of estrogen before ovulation, while an associated progesterone surge does not occur until ovulation actually occurs. Gangisetty O, Reddy DS. Estrogens effects on the brain: Women with epilepsy may have seizure patterns associated with changes in estrogen and progesterone levels.

To date, a rapid effect of progesterone has been reported in the hippocampus slice excitability, that was blocked by the PR antagonist RU Ganaxolone Presurgical Study Group. However, evidence for the effectiveness of these treatments is not well established.

Interestingly, some studies have shown that catamenial epilepsy is substantially and statistically significantly more common among women with left temporal foci than among those with right temporal foci. It is usually given in cyclic form during the luteal phase, taken orally at a dose of — mg, twice a day or three times a day.

NMDA-mediated calcium entry increases with a larger amount of excitatory inputs to the pyramidal cells. Laxer et al 70 completed a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, epielpsy, monotherapy clinical trial that evaluated the safety, tolerability, and antiepileptic activity of ganaxolone. Furthermore, there was no correlation between progesterone levels and intracortical inhibition.


Treatment Actually, there is no specific drug treatment for catamenial epilepsy, which is often refractory to many therapies. Catamenial epilepsy is believed to occur secondarily to the neuroactive properties of endogenous steroid hormones and the natural cyclic variation in their serum levels throughout the menstrual cycle.

Catamenial epilepsy – Wikipedia

Estradiol facilitates the release of neuropeptide Y to suppress hippocampus- dependent seizures. Patients were withdrawn from the study at the occurrence of one of the following: Please review our privacy policy.

It is known that estrogen and progesterone have important effects on neuronal development and plasticity in widespread cerebral catameniql brainstem regions, 20 through their capacity to regulate synthesis, release, and transport of neurotransmitters.

Estradiol regulates hippocampal dendritic spine density via an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-dependent mechanism.

Estrogen increases latencies to seizures and levels of 5alpha-pregnan-3alpha-olone in hippocampus of wild-type, but not 5alpha-reductase knockout, mice. Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent seizures.

There are also studies that support protective effects of estrogen and that suggest that it may also be anticonvulsant under some circumstances. Therefore, this drug can only be administered on an intermittent basis, which is appropriate for catamenial epilepsy but not for ordinary seizure prophylaxis.

The menstrual phase is characterized by drastic decreases in progesterone and estrogen levels.