What Causes Epilepsy?

It may be difficult to know why seizures have started. Sometimes there is a definite cause and something has happened like a brain trauma, however sometimes they just happen for no apparent reason.


Epilepsy is ‘symptomatic’ when there is a known cause.                         Such as;

  • Head Injury
  • Stroke
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Problems at birth
  • Brain Tumour
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Scaring
  • Infection such as meningitis

Idiopathic epilepsy:

‘Idiopathic  Epilepsy’  is believed that seizures are caused by the lack of a particular group of chemicals (the neurotransmitters) used to regulate the electric impulses in the brain.

Epilepsy is also ‘idiopathic’ when it is thought to be due to a genetic tendency (which could have been inherited from one or both parents) or it can be due to a change that happens in the person’s genes before they are born.

A genetic tendency to have seizures is likely to be associated with a low seizure threshold. A person’s seizure threshold often plays a key role in whether they will develop epilepsy.

Seizure Threshold:

Each individual has a “seizure threshold” or level of resistance to seizures. This threshold varies from person to person and is probably part of their genetic make – up; that is, how traits are passed from one generation to another.

A person with low seizure threshold might develop epilepsy anyway without other factors being involved. Sometimes a tendency to have seizures can be seen in families where several members have epilepsy.


Cryptogenic epilepsy:

Is when patients have no obvious cause like stated above as above, for their epilepsy to be caused and is associated with learning difficulties or developmental problems, such as the autistic spectrum disorder. There are often EEG abnormalities.


Whatever happens however your epilepsy is caused it is NOT your  fault. Once diagnosed it’s just another part of you. You may not like it but everyone has  good and bad points. Epilepsy is just another thing in life that needs to be delt with. Being careful, Hospital trips, Medication, all parts of you with epilepsy. Don’t have a pity party, it’s not right, you are still you, with or without epilepsy. Your true friends will understand that.

My experience with epilepsy