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Seizure. 1993 Sep;2(3):241-52.

Derangement of the hypothalamic GnRH pulse generator in women with epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology, University of Naples Federico II, School of Medicine, Italy.


An increased frequency of reproductive endocrine diseases has been described in women with epilepsy and a subclinical reproductive dysfunction has been suggested in normally menstruating epileptic women. We assessed the reproductive endocrine function in 11 normally menstruating, drug-free epileptic women, evaluating the basal hormonal profile and LH pulsatile secretion during continuous EEG monitoring. A significant LH hyperpulsatility was observed in epileptic women compared with controls; moreover, a significant increase of gonadotropin basal secretions was observed when inter-ictal paroxysmal activity increased. The derangement of the hypothalamic GnRH pulse generator may represent a subclinical condition associated with epilepsy, not necessarily affecting the regularity of menstrual function. However, it is possible that the alteration of LH pulsatile pattern might eventually cause reproductive endocrine diseases. Paroxysmal activity seems to be an important additional factor in the derangement of gonadotropin secretion.

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