John Libbey Eurotext

Pregnancy and deep brain stimulation therapy for epilepsy Volume 23, issue 4, August 2021


1 Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
2 MTA-PTE Clinical Neuroscience MRI Research Group, Hungary, Pécs, Hungary
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Medical School, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
4 Diagnostic Center of Pécs, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
* Correspondence: Jozsef Janszky University of Pécs, Medical School, Department of Neurology, Pécs, Rét u. 2., H-7623 Hungary


Neuromodulation therapy -vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS)- is one of the therapeutic options for drug-resistant epilepsy. With the increasing number of DBS implantations in women with epilepsy, it has become a burning issue whether DBS is safe in pregnancy. We report here two women with epilepsy who gave birth to healthy children with DBS therapy.


We describe two cases, a 30-year-old woman and a 37-year-old woman. Both were implanted with DBS due to drug-resistant epilepsy.


Both of our patients showed a significant improvement after DBS implantation and thereafter gave birth to a healthy child with DBS treatment. The severity and frequency of epileptic seizures did not change during pregnancy and after childbirth. Although a Caesarean section was performed in one case, pregnancies and births were essentially problem-free. At present, the two- and four-year-old children are healthy.


Considering these cases, previously described VNS cases, and DBS cases with non-epileptic indications; we suggest that pregnancy and childbirth are safe in epilepsy patients with DBS, moreover, DBS treatment has probably no effect on foetal abnormalities or breastfeeding.