Causes of epilepsy

Epilepsy is a non-contagious disease and in the majority of cases (6 out of 10) it does not have an identifiable cause. This kind of epilepsy is called  idiopathic epilepsy.

There are also kinds of epilepsy (called symptomatic or secondary epilepsy) caused by a disease or prior trauma such as:

  • congenital malformations or genetic alterations
  • brain damage from injuries suffered before birth (asphyxiation or trauma during birth, low birth weight)
  • traumatic brain injury
  • a stroke that restricts the supply of oxygen to the brain
  • brain infections (meningitis and encephalitis)
  • brain tumours
  • some genetic syndromes
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