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Parent's Rheumatoid Arthritis May Put Child at Risk for Epilepsy

rheumatoid arthritis

Parent's Rheumatoid Arthritis May Put Child at Risk for Epilepsy

Being a mother with rheumatoid arthritis is not easy.

There are a lot of questions when it comes to raising children while living with a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis.

For one, some of you might wonder whether the disease makes you less fertile. Others may wonder if the disease might affect your baby. On top of that, the powerful drugs people take to either stop the disease from progressing or relieve the joint pain might harm your growing baby. Family planning can get really complicated for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Maternal RA might increase risk for epilepsy in her children

A new study has shown some insight as to what effects rheumatoid arthritis can have on motherhood. It appears that kids born to mothers who have RA have a higher risk for epilepsy. Epilepsy is a condition where someone is prone to getting seizures. It can be extremely debilitating and terrifying too because these seizures can strike at any moment, A seizure can strike at any time for people with epilepsy, making simple things we take for granted every day suddenly life-threateningly dangerous.

People with epilepsy live with many limitations, including the inability to operate machinery such as a vehicle. Being unable to drive limits your ability to get around for simple things like getting groceries, or going to work. On top of that, having a seizure puts you at risk of serious injury from falling unexpectedly. You could suffer from brain injury if you happen to be in a bad spot.

A new study discovered a link between RA and epilepsy

A new study, published online in the November issue of Neurology, has found that having rheumatoid arthritis could be linked to having children with epilepsy. They found that mothers who were pregnant with active rheumatoid arthritis were more likely to have a child with this seizure disorder. The researchers explain that there might be some autoimmune factors in play here. Perhaps autoimmunity might actually contribute to the development of some kinds of epilepsy.

For some time, scientists had known that there might be an autoimmune association to the pathogenesis of epilepsy

The scientists were first inspired to investigate this connection because recent research had shown an autoimmune association with epilepsy. When you have an autoimmune disease, you are 5 times more likely to have an associated seizure disorder like epilepsy. On top of that, when you look at rheumatoid arthritis, people with this chronic illness are 3 times more likely to get epilepsy.

Autoimmune diseases have a familial pattern

For a long time, autoimmune diseases have been recognized as having a familial occurrence. Though you might not directly inherit the exact autoimmune disease that your parent had, you are at a higher risk of developing an autoimmune condition if your family member had one. This could include diabetes type I, Grave's disease of the thyroid, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, and of course, rheumatoid arthritis. There are many ways autoimmunity can manifest, and it's the overreaction of the immune system that appears to be genetically inherited from generation to generation.

Read on to learn more how exactly scientists came to this conclusion.