Perimenstrual catamenial epilepsy.
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Epilepsy affects 50 million people worldwide, including women afflicted with catamenial epilepsy. Catamenial epilepsy is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are clustered around specific points in the menstrual cycle, most frequently during the perimenstrual or periovulatory phase. Although there are a number of standard and newer antiepileptic drugs for epilepsy, no specific drugs exist to treat catamenial seizures, which affect at least one in three women with epilepsy. Moreover, the molecular pathophysiology of catamenial seizures remains unclear. This article describes the pathophysiology, hormonal basis, diagnosis and treatment of perimenstrual catamenial epilepsy. Natural progesterone and synthetic neurosteroid replacement appears to be a suitable therapeutic approach for catamenial epilepsy.
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