Children's epilepsy resource for Families

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What Causes Epilepsy?


There are many different causes of Epilepsy. Your doctor will do a number of investigations to look for the cause. However, in 6 out of 10 children, no cause can be found.


The cause of Epilepsy when known can be classified into several broad categories.


  • Genetic: There is an underlying predisposition to having seizures. However, there is often no family history of seizures
  • Immune: Epilepsy results directly from an immune disorder in which seizures are a core symptom of the disorder
  • Infectious: Epilepsy results from a known infection in which seizures are a core symptom of the disorder
  • Metabolic: The cells in the brain use energy in a way that makes them more prone to creating abnormal electrical activity
  • Structural: There is an underlying abnormality in the brain tissue that makes seizures more likely
  • Unknown: The cause of the epilepsy is not yet known.












The information on this page was published in March 2012.  It was last reviewed without modification in December 2017.

Living with Epilepsy
Makayla's Story