October 27, 2009 – 10:24am
Is there a connection between hormones and seizures? Scientists say there is. But first, let’s define hormones and what they do.
Hormones are chemical substances found all throughout the body. They influence everything from growth to your menstrual cycle. Men and women have a total of three sex hormones that scientists have pegged as the culprits: estrogen, androgen, and progesterone. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the primary job of sex hormones is to control and maintain our reproductive system. Even though they can also help develop and maintain muscle, bone strength, emotions, and behavior as well.
What’s the Connection?
Research shows that the female hormones estrogen and progesterone respond to brain cells, particularly ones found in the temporal lobe of the brain. This is the location where some seizures start. Estrogen can agitate this part of the brain, and as a result, the individual will suffer a seizure. In direct contrast, natural progesterone – as brought out by the Epilepsy Foundation – can stop or prevent seizures in some women.
Even though not all seizures are caused by hormones, they still can influence their frequency.