Folic Acid and Epilepsy

Epilepsy Curr. 2002 Mar;2(2):31-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1535-7597.2002.00017.x.


Folic acid has been a topic of discussion within the epilepsy community for several decades. Folic acid was initially suspected to be epileptogenic (1), but that concern has been resolved, as research has demonstrated that folic acid in less than supraphysiologic concentrations does not promote seizures. Epileptologists are now concerned that folic acid may be too low in persons with epilepsy taking some antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). Low serum and red blood cell levels of folic acid in women of childbearing potential increase the risk of fetal birth defects. For men and women, low levels of folic acid are associated with elevated homocysteine and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. A convincing argument now develops that routine folic acid supplementation is important for women and men receiving AEDs.