Most seizures have no known cause. In fact, about 7 out of 10 people with epilepsy don't know what triggers their seizures. However, seizures have been linked to lack of oxygen or brain injury, which can damage nerve cells (neurons). Other causes may be infections of the lining of the brain, genetic factors, and abnormal brain development.
While anyone may have a seizure at some point in their lifetime, only an estimated 1% of people are at risk of developing epilepsy during their lives. Some people are at greater risk because of underlying medical conditions or genetics, such as:
- Those who have suffered a stroke
- Alzheimer's patients
- Those who have experienced a single, unprovoked seizure
- Children of parents with epilepsy
Inform your doctor of any potential medical or genetic links to epilepsy to more easily reach a diagnosis and select appropriate therapy.