We know there’s a link, but what’s the cause?
While this study appears to have found a link between obesity during pregnancy and epilepsy, the causal connection remains to be proven.
One possible reason for this increased risk, according to the authors of the study, is that being overweight or obese may increase the risk of brain injury, leading to a range of neurodevelopmental disorders and epilepsy could result from that disorder.
Another possible reason is that maternal obesity might affect neuro-development through obesity-induced inflammation.
Dr White said that, while offering theories, finding the causal link between obesity and epilepsy needed further investigation.
“One of the things becoming apparent with obesity is that its a complex condition,” she said.
“We already know obesity during pregnancy can lead to an increase in high blood pressure and that obese women may require injections of folic acid … and that obesity is linked to increased complications in pregnancy.”
She believes that while studies like this reinforce to women that obesity is not healthy, it could come across as fodder — just another risk in a long line of health risks.