What causes epilepsy?

Updated: May 30, 2019
  • Author: David Y Ko, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

In a substantial number of cases, the cause of epilepsy remains unknown. Identified causes tend to vary with patient age. Inherited syndromes, congenital brain malformations, infection, and head trauma are leading causes in children. Head trauma is the most common known cause in young adults. Strokes, tumors, and head trauma become more frequent in middle age, with stroke becoming the most common cause in the elderly, along with Alzheimer disease and other degenerative conditions.


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