The cause of epilepsy is unknown in 50% of cases. We know that genetics (family history) play an important role.
Seizures or epilepsy can also be caused by anything that causes damage to the brain, including:
- head injury or trauma
- stroke or brain haemorrhage
- brain infection or inflammation, such as in meningitis, encephalitis or a brain abscess
- brain malformations or tumours
- brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease
- chronic alcohol or drug use
- genetic factors
- high or low blood sugar and other biochemical imbalances.
However seizures may not develop for years after the damage to the brain occurs.
Last reviewed: December 2017