When you have epilepsy and are considering having children, great care needs to be made on what epilepsy drug should be used during the pregnancy period. Emory Epilepsy Center and Regent’s University in Augusta (formerly the Medical College of Georgia) are taking part in a National study of the risk involved in the use of various drugs during this period.
The clinical dilemma for women with epilepsy and their clinicians is that most cannot stop their antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy because of the risks of seizures to both the mother and child. Thus, fully understanding the risk of the different drugs to the child is important. The preceding NEAD Study made important contributions to our understanding of risks for several antiepileptic drugs, but the risks for most of the drugs in this class remain uncertain. Of note, many of these drugs are used in women without epilepsy for pain or psychiatric indications. Furthermore, there are many unknown risk to the mothers who have epilepsy.
Geisinger Health System
Harvard University (Brigham & Women’s Hospital)
Henry Ford Hospital
Johns Hopkins University (Bayview Med Center)
Medical College of Georgia (Regent's University)*
Minnesota Epilepsy Group
New York University
North Shore - Long Island Jewish SOM
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of Cincinnati
University of Miami
University of Pittsburgh
University of S. California
University of Washington
Wake Forest University
The new MONEAD Study is investigating risks to both the mother and the child.
• Seizures. Change in seizure frequency during pregnancy.
• OB Complications. (e.g., C-section rate and indications).
• Depression. Rates during pregnancy & postpartum.
Outcomes in Children of Women with Epilepsy:
• Neurodevelopment. Cognitive outcomes at ages 2, 3, 4.5 and 6 years after fetal exposure to different anti-epileptic drugs and drug combinations.
• Neonatal Outcomes. (e.g., rates of Small for Gestational Age - SGA).
• Breastfeeding. Effects of breastfeeding while taking antiepileptic drug on the cognitive outcomes in the children.
The MONEAD Study will enroll 350 women with epilepsy during pregnancy and as control subjects will also enroll 100 women with epilepsy who are not pregnant and 100 healthy pregnant women.
*Denotes studies taking place in the state of Georgia.