Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

What causes epilepsy?

1-minute read

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:

However seizures may not develop for years after the damage to the brain occurs.

Last reviewed: December 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Epilepsy & seizures in children & teens | Raising Children Network

Epilepsy is when a child has seizures over a long period. If your child is diagnosed with epilepsy, treatment aims to let your child live a normal life.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Epilepsy (seizures) treatment information video | myVMC

Epilepsy treatments are improving and it is now possible to prevent seizures in most patients without causing troubling medication side effects.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Epilepsy: Overview | myVMC

Epilepsy, the most common serious neurological condition, is the continuing tendency of a person to have seizures.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Womens Issues | Epilepsy Action Australia

Women with epilepsy have many questions about epilepsy and their own health, pregnancy, and the well-being of their children. Information given here will help.

Read more on Epilepsy Action Australia website

Epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs in pregnancy information | myVMC

Epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs have risks in pregnancy. The epilepsy register enables researchers to understand risks and reduce potential harms.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Antiepileptics (antiseizure medications) information | myVMC

Antiepileptics are a class of medicines that prevent the rapid brain stimulation associated with seizures. They are used to treat epilepsy and seizures.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Zarontin (ethosuximide) anticonvulsant medicine information | myVMC

Zarontin (ethosuximide) is used to control epilepsy in children and adults. It belongs to a group of medicines called anticonvulsants.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Seizure Types & Classification | Epilepsy Action Australia

There are many different types of seizures such as Focal (partial) seizures, Generalised seizures, Unknown seizures. Learn more at Epilepsy Action Australia.

Read more on Epilepsy Action Australia website

Nocturnal Seizures Seizures During Sleep | Epilepsy Action Australia

The majority of nocturnal seizures occur in light sleep, soon after falling asleep, before waking or around arousal during the night - Epilepsy Action Australia

Read more on Epilepsy Action Australia website

Epilepsy (epileptic seizure) information | myVMC

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that causes seizures. It is caused by an abnormal electrical discharge from nerve cells in the brain.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo