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Hello! My best friend suffers from catamenial epilepsy. I would like to know what causes these seizures around menstruation. Is it the hormones or …. something else? Thank you for your time!

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Hi! Ofcourse, it’s the hormones. What else? In both animal and human epilepsy, estrogen have been found to directly change electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. I read that there was a study conducted where an intravenous (IV) injection of estrogen resulted in clinical seizures in 4 of 16 women with epilepsy and activated EEG epileptic-type activity in 11. An IV infusion of progesterone decreased this type of activity temporarily in 4 of 7 women with partial epilepsy. During the normal menstrual cycle, regular fluctuations in the hormones estrogen and progesterone occur. Estrogen levels are higher than progesterone levels just before ovulation (at mid-cycle), at the end of the cycle just before menstruation, and for the first few days of menstruation. Seizures are most common when estrogen rises and less common when progesterone levels are highest.
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