causes of epilepsy

In about 65% of cases, there is no obvious cause for epilepsy. This can be emotionally stressful for the person affected. Scientists now think that these cases involve a genetic abnormality. The abnormality may be inherited, but most of the time it is a newly occurring mutation. In the other 35% of cases, the cause is known and the brain has been injured in some way. Examples include tumor, stroke, lack of oxygen at birth or a head injury. The more serious the injury, the more likely epilepsy will develop. Other common causes include systemic infection in the mother during pregnancy, substance abuse, infections that affect the nervous system, such as meningitis or encephalitis, or Alzheimer’s Disease. The most common cause of seizures in older people is a stroke.

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