Obesity during pregnancy increases risk of epilepsy in child, study finds

A study of more than a million children has found the risk of epilepsy almost doubled among those born to severely obese mums.

Being overweight during the first trimester of pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of childhood epilepsy.

The recent Swedish study, published in journal JAMA Neurology, of almost 1.5 million babies found the risk of epilepsy almost doubled from normal-weight women to very severely obese women.

Epilepsy disrupts the normal electrochemical activity of the brain resulting seizures.

The cause of this debilitating and often hard-to-treat condition is poorly understood.

With obesity on the rise, there is growing concern about the long-term neurological effects of children exposed to maternal obesity in pregnancy.

“Given that overweight and obesity are potentially modifiable risk factors, prevention of obesity in women of reproductive age may be an important public health strategy to reduce the incidence of epilepsy,” the authors wrote.

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