The risk for epilepsy increases if you have:
- Family history of epilepsy.
- Head injury (for example, a penetrating wound or skull fracture) with amnesia or loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours. The more severe the injury, the higher the risk.
- Stroke or conditions that affect the blood vessels (vascular system) in the brain.
- Brain tumor.
- Brain infection, such as encephalitis or meningitis.
- Lead poisoning.
- Problems with brain development that occurred before birth.
- Substance abuse.
- Fever seizures that last a long time (also known as febrile convulsions).
- Alzheimer's disease.
Epilepsy may develop even though you do not have any risk factors. This is especially true of many forms of childhood epilepsy.