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Women’s health & midwifery
Study suggests that pre-existing maternal epilepsy increases the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes
  1. Ju-Lee Oei1,2
  1. 1 Department of Newborn Care, Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ju-Lee Oei, Department of Newborn Care, The Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia; j.oei{at}

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Commentary on: Razaz N, Tomson T, Wikström AK, et al. Association between pregnancy and perinatal outcomes among women with epilepsy. JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(8):983–991.

Implications for practice and research

  • Epilepsy in pregnancy can increase the risk of adverse outcomes for the mother but treatment for epilepsy with medication does not appear to increase these risks.

  • Research must focus on the clinical nuances of the individual patient and take into account disease severity, antiepileptic drug (AED) type and dose and type and other adverse events (eg, miscarriage and malformations) that are not accounted for by administrative data.


Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions in pregnancy. Up to 1% of all pregnant women may be epileptic1 and both seizures and the treatment for seizures, antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), have the potential …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.