Fertility and Epilepsy

Today on our EMPOWERING Women and Girls Living with Epilepsy video series we hear from Dr. Page B. Pennell, Professor of Neurology, at Harvard Medical School and Director of Research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston on:Fertility and Epilepsy 



Page B. Pennell, MD is a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, a Vice-Chair of Academic Affairs in the Department of Neurology, and a Director of Research for the Division of Epilepsy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with a secondary appointment in the Division of Women’s Health. She is a clinical investigator with a focus on sex-specific outcomes in epilepsy. Dr. Pennell’s current clinical studies focus on the effects of hormones on seizure provocation, pharmacokinetic changes of AEDs with exogenous hormones or differing reproductive phases, and maternal and fetal outcomes during pregnancy in women with epilepsy.

Collaborative, multi-center studies have included funding from industry, non-profit foundations and NIH; these studies have included treatment of women with epilepsy with hormone therapeutics, study of the effects of epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) on sex steroid hormones and the functional consequences, and study of women with epilepsy during pregnancy. Her current work includes a multi-center clinical study across 20 sites, Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of AEDs (MONEAD), funded by the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Dr. Pennell is currently the President of the American Epilepsy Society. She has served on the Board of Directors for the American Epilepsy Society, the Professional Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Foundation, Director of the Epilepsy course and of the Neurologic Complications in Pregnant Women course at the annual meetings for the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). She has authored over 70 original research manuscripts in the field, 50 review articles and book chapters, AAN guidelines, with a focus on sex-specific and neuroendocrine considerations in epilepsy. Recent efforts have included mentoring junior faculty and fellows, with a focus on building clinical research skills.