HORMONES AND GENDER | Steroid Hormones and Sex Differences in Seizure Susceptibility Chapter uri icon


  • © 2009 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved. The focus of this article is on the various steroid hormones that influence gender-related differences in seizure susceptibility. There is considerable evidence indicating that males and females differ in their sensitivity to seizure stimuli. Sex differences in seizure susceptibility could be due to steroid hormones and sexual dimorphism in specific brain areas relevant to epilepsy. Men are generally highly susceptible to seizures than women, and some women with epilepsy experience seizures most often during the menstrual period, a condition referred to as 'catamenial epilepsy.' Our laboratory is focusing on the development of new drugs for catamenial epilepsy. Progesterone and estrogens are the major modulators of seizure activity in women. In men, testosterone is a precursor for the androgenic neurosteroids estradiol and androstanediol, which could play a role in sex differences in seizure susceptibility. Stress-induced neurosteroids have also been shown to modulate seizure susceptibility in both males and females. Overall, the emerging evidence suggests that there are sex differences in endogenous seizure-controlling systems, including distinct hormonal factors and neural networks.

author list (cited authors)

  • Reddy, D. S.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Reddy, DS

Book Title

  • Encyclopedia of Basic Epilepsy Research

publication date

  • January 2009