A risk factor increases your chance of an illness. It does not mean you will get sick. However, the more risk factors you have, the better your chance of epilepsy. Some people will also have epilepsy even though they have no risk factors.
Risk factors for epilepsy include:
Any injury to the brain can increase your risk. Brain injury can be caused by:
- Head injury
- Alzheimer's disease
- Brain tumors
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Event that prevents oxygen from reaching the brain, such as near-drowning
- Severe loss of sleep
- Infections, such as:
- Hydrocephalus—excess fluid in the brain
- Celiac disease
- Metabolic conditions, such as low blood sugar , high or low salt, low magnesium or calcium
Changes in certain genes can increase the risk of epilepsy. These abnormal genes are present at birth.
There are different causes and types of seizures. Certain types are more or less likely based on your age.
Brains grow and develop in young children. High fever and poor nutrition can affect their brains. Children with these factors may have a higher risk of epilepsy.
Other factors that can increase your risk of epilepsy include:
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 02/2018 -
- Update Date: 08/24/2018 -