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Risk Factors for Epilepsy

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition. It is possible to develop epilepsy with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing epilepsy. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

Risk factors for epilepsy include:

Medical Conditions

Any injury to the brain, either from external (environmental) or internal (medical/metabolic) sources can increase your risk of epilepsy.

Side View of the Brain

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Brain injury can be caused by:

Genetic Factors

In some cases, epilepsy can result from genetic abnormalities inherited at birth.

Age

Different causes and types of seizures are more or less likely depending on your age.

In children, risk factors include:

  • High fever
  • Poor nutrition

Other Factors

Other factors that can increase your risk of epilepsy include:

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References:

Epilepsy in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115086/Epilepsy-in-adults. Updated December 8, 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.
Epilepsy in children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated December 8, 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.
Epilepsy information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Epilepsy-Information-Page. Accessed February 6, 2017.
Quet F, Guerchet M, Pion SD, Ngoungou EB, Nicoletti A, Preux PM. Meta-analysis of the association between cysticercosis and epilepsy in Africa. Epilepsia. 2010;51(5):830-837.
Seizure disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated June 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.
What are the risk factors? Epilepsy Foundation website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed February 6, 2017.
Last reviewed February 2017 by Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 3/15/2015

 

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