What are the considerations for the management of preexisting neurologic diseases during pregnancy?

Updated: Nov 08, 2018
  • Author: Carmel Armon, MD, MSc, MHS; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Answer

As a consequence of the immense growth in therapeutic options for neurologic disorders over the past decade, when a woman becomes pregnant, the question is no longer whether to continue or discontinue treatment of such disorders; rather, the issues are which treatments to continue and how they should be administered.

The most important message is that in the ideal case, any woman with a known, preexisting medical condition—neurologic or other—should discuss her plans to become pregnant with her physician before she becomes pregnant.

This article addresses specific issues surrounding neurologic disease in pregnant women, [1] beginning with a summary of key general considerations, proceeding to a review of the main neurologic complications that may arise in pregnant women who were previously free of neurologic disease, and concluding with a discussion of individual neurologic disorders in the context of pregnancy. (See also Seizure Disorders in Pregnancy, Women’s Health and Epilepsy, Antiepileptic Drugs, and Neural Tube Defects.)


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