Causes of Epilepsy

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Causes of Epilepsy:

Cerebral CT angiography or computed tomography angiography

Structural. Changes in neuroimaging studies are observed, which are often acquired after a stroke, brain tumour or head injury.

Pregnant woman

Genetic defects. Genetic mutations can lead to epilepsy.

Bacteria of the intestinal microbiota in a petri dish

Infections. This is the most typical cause of epilepsy worldwide. For example, encephalitis or neurocysticercosis can cause epileptic seizures.

Belly with a tape measure

Metabolic. Epilepsy can develop as a central characteristic of certain metabolic disorders such as porphyrias.

Central nervous system and spinal cord with marked zones

Immune. This occurs when an autoimmune defect affects the central nervous system.


Increased intracranial pressure, headache and brain tumour growth

Unknown: In many cases, advances in diagnostic tests, it is not possible to determine the causes of epilepsy.

Risk factors associated with Epilepsy

The main risk factors are:

Family and family tree indicating hereditary factors

A family history of epilepsy.

Woman giving birth on a stretcher

Complications during childbirth (e.g., significant prematurity or oxygen deficiency).

Baby and fever thermometer

Febrile seizures during childhood.

Bacteria of the intestinal microbiota in a petri dish

Brain infections (meningitis or encephalitis).


Dizzy person with bandaged head

Severe head injuries with loss of consciousness.

Substantiated information by:

Antonio Jesús Donaire Pedraza
Francisco Gil López
Maria del Mar Carreño Martínez

Published: 22 May 2018
Updated: 22 May 2018

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