The Association between Family History of Alcohol Use Disorder and Catamenial Epilepsy


The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether a family history of alcohol use disorder (AUD) might be a risk factor and possible clinical biomarker for catamenial epilepsy. The retrospective case-control data came from 119 women, ages 13-48 years, with intractable seizures. We report the relative risk for positive family history of AUD among women with catamenial epilepsy (Group 1) relative to women with non-catamenial epilepsy (Group 2). The risk ratio (RR) for positive AUD history for Group 1 (N = 59) relative to Group 2 (N = 60) was 3.46 (95% CI: 1.36-8.76); p = 0.009. The RRs were significant for women who had the (C1) perimenstrual (p = 0.009) and (C3) entire luteal phase (p = 0.003) patterns but not the (C2) preovulatory pattern. AUD history had a high specificity of 91.7% (55/60) but relatively low sensitivity of 28.8% (17/59) for the prediction of catamenial epilepsy. The positive predictive value was 77.3% (17/22) whereas the negative predictive values was 56.7% (55/97). AUD history is a highly specific biomarker for catamenial epilepsy but has relatively low sensitivity for its detection. Further investigation may identify additional biomarkers that are more efficient than seizure-menses calendars.