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Epilepsy - Cause

Epilepsy may develop even though you do not have any risk factors (things that increase your risk). A cause cannot always be identified. This is especially true in many forms of childhood epilepsy. For some people, epilepsy can result from a tumor, infection, or damage to the brain.

Children and older adults are most likely to develop epilepsy, but it can start at any age. It is possible that epilepsy may run in families. But you do not have to have a family history to develop epilepsy.

Recommended Related to Epilepsy

Understanding Temporal Lobe Seizures -- Prevention

Seizures occur in girls and boys at an equal rate and are more common before the age of 15 and after age 65. Inherited seizures are more likely to occur in girls. Seizures occurring after head trauma are more likely in boys. For now, there is no way to screen for a seizure disorder before it develops. However, avoiding head injuries -- such as by wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle -- can reduce the risk of acquiring a seizure disorder.

Read the Understanding Temporal Lobe Seizures -- Prevention article > >

Epileptic seizures occur when abnormal bursts of electricity in the brain briefly upset normal brain function. It's not always clear what triggers the bursts of abnormal electrical activity.

Conditions that can cause seizures include:

Tumors, scar tissue from injury or disease, or abnormal brain development may damage a specific area of the brain and cause partial seizures. But you may not have any of these conditions and still develop epilepsy.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 26, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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