Emmes Employees Contribute to New England Journal of Medicine Report on Pregnant Women with Epilepsy

Team's Research Addressed Changes in Seizures During Pregnancy

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmes, a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization dedicated to supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation, today announced the company's involvement in a recent article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Emmes' Carrie Brown and Dr. Steffanie Wilson were among the team of researchers who contributed to the article, "Changes in Seizure Frequency and Antiepileptic Therapy during Pregnancy".

"The research addressed the important issue of how to care for women with epilepsy during pregnancy and postpartum," said Dr. Wilson, who leads Emmes' neurology and mental health research unit. "It is one of the first studies to compare seizure frequency of pregnant women with epilepsy with a non-pregnant control group. An immediate goal was to assess the impact of anti-epileptic drugs and dose management on seizure frequency during compared to after pregnancy."

One conclusion of the study was that the percentage of women with epilepsy with a higher incidence of seizures during pregnancy was similar to that in women with epilepsy who were not pregnant. The study findings suggest pregnancy may not make seizures worse among women with epilepsy whose seizure medication is carefully managed. These findings are significant because women with epilepsy have, in some cases, been discouraged from getting pregnant because of the lack of available data on the effect of pregnancy on seizure control.

According to Dr. Wilson, researchers are continuing to collect data about the use of anti-epileptic drugs by pregnant women and the impact on the health of their children.

The Emmes data and statistical coordinating center team, led by Principal Investigator Dr. Abigail G. Matthews, has provided clinical research support for the Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD) study since the end of 2012. The study is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The company provided similar support for the predecessor study, Neurodevelopment Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (NEAD), which ran from 1999 to 2004. The NEAD study had addressed the effects of in utero exposure to a number of different antiepileptic drugs on children. The current MONEAD work is addressing several research focuses stemming from that work, including the longer-term effect of anti-epileptic drugs on the study participants' children, as well as rates of obstetrical complications, among others. The Emmes team's involvement in both studies has spanned more than 13 years, and the current study period extends through 2023.

"The MONEAD study findings have also been presented at the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting and recognized in other high-impact journals, such as Lancet and Lancet Neurology," noted Emmes' Chief Executive Officer Dr. Christine Dingivan. "This important work underscores our commitment to public health, and we are proud to continue expanding the body of knowledge about epilepsy and its impact on pregnant women and their children."

About the Research

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke under Grant No. U01-NS038455.

About Emmes

Founded in 1977, Emmes is a global, full-service Clinical Research Organization dedicated to excellence in supporting the advancement of public health and biopharmaceutical innovation. The company's clients include numerous agencies and institutes of the U.S. federal government and a wide range of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies throughout the world. To learn more about how our research is making a positive impact on human health, go to the Emmes website at www.emmes.com.

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