Risk Factors for Epilepsy
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop
with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing epilepsy. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Risk factors for epilepsy include:
Any injury to the brain, either from external (environmental) or internal (medical/metabolic) sources can increase your risk of epilepsy.
|Side View of the Brain|
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Brain injury can be caused by:
In some cases, epilepsy can result from genetic abnormalities inherited at birth.
Different causes and types of seizures are more or less likely depending on your age.
In children, risk factors include:
- High fever
- Poor nutrition
Other factors that can increase your risk of epilepsy include:
- Overdose or withdrawal of antidepressants and other medications
- Medication interactions
- Alcohol use disorder
Cysticercosis—an infection caused by a pork
Epilepsy in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115086/Epilepsy-in-adults. Updated December 8, 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.
Epilepsy in children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T900174/Epilepsy-in-children. Updated December 8, 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.
Epilepsy information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at:
Accessed February 6, 2017.
Quet F, Guerchet M, Pion SD, Ngoungou EB, Nicoletti A, Preux PM.
Meta-analysis of the association between cysticercosis and epilepsy in Africa.
Seizure disorders. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/seizure-disorders/seizure-disorders. Updated June 2016. Accessed February 6, 2017.
What are the risk factors? Epilepsy Foundation
website. Available at: http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/epilepsy-101/what-are-risk-factors. Accessed February 6, 2017.