Seizures in infancy in the offspring of women with epilepsy

Frank J.E. Vajda, Terence J. O'Brien, Janet E. Graham, Alison A. Hitchcock, Cecilie M. Lander, Mervyn J. Eadie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: To assess (a) the incidence of seizures in the first year of life in infants born to mothers with epilepsy and (b) factors that might contribute to the seizure incidence. Materials & Methods: Analysis of data collected in the Australian Register of Antiepileptic Drugs in Pregnancy during and at the end of the year after pregnancy. Results: By the end of a year following pregnancy, seizures had occurred in the progeny of 47 pregnancies (2.40%), including febrile seizures in 18 (0.92%), the latter rate being higher than the 0.40% and 0.59% rates for the same situation in the general population reported in the recent literature. Seizures in infancy were more likely in the offspring of mothers with generalized as compared with focal epilepsies (3.65% vs 1.56%; RR = 2.332; P <.05) and within the generalized epilepsy mothers in those who were not seizure free during pregnancy (4.83% vs 2.89%). Seizures were also more likely in infants with foetal malformations, especially ones not discovered until after the first post-natal month. Conclusions: These findings may help in advising mothers with epilepsy regarding the chance of their offspring experiencing seizures in the first year of life; they also suggest the desirability of achieving maternal seizure control throughout pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • focal epilepsy
  • generalized epilepsy
  • infants
  • mothers
  • pregnancy
  • seizures

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