Secondary Seizure Frequency Higher in Anovulatory Cycle

Seen in secondary generalized tonic-clonic but not in complex or simple partial seizure frequency

FRIDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- In women with intractable focal onset seizures, seizure frequency for secondary generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) is significantly greater during anovulatory cycles than during ovulatory cycles, according to a study published online July 14 in Epilepsia.

Andrew G. Herzog, M.D., from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues investigated the influence of the menstrual cycle's ovulatory status on seizure frequency in 281 women with intractable focal onset seizures. Of these, 92 women had both anovulatory and ovulatory cycles during the three-month baseline phase of a progesterone treatment trial. Average daily seizure frequency (ADSF) was compared between anovulatory and ovulatory cycles for all seizures combined and for each seizure type separately (secondary GTCS, complex partial seizures [CPS], simple partial seizures [SPS]). A correlation between estradiol/progesterone (EP) serum level ratios between anovulatory and ovulatory cycles and the proportional differences in ADSF was determined.

The investigators found that seizure frequency was 29.5 percent greater for secondary GTCS during anovulatory cycles than ovulatory cycles. For CPS, SPS, or seizures combined, there was no significant difference in ADSF. There was a significant correlation between proportional differences in anovulatory/ovulatory secondary GTCS ADSF ratios and differences in anovulatory/ovulatory EP ratios. EP ratios were greater for cycles with secondary GTCS than partial seizures only, but the three seizure types did not differ in ovulatory rates among the study population of 281 women.

"Seizure frequency is significantly greater for secondary GTCS, but not CPS or SPS, during anovulatory cycles than ovulatory cycles," the authors write.

Several of the study authors disclosed financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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