Causes – Epilepsy 101
There are many causes of epilepsy:
- Injury to the brain before, during or after birth, such as:
- Developmental defects of the brain
- Perinatal brain injury due to bleeding or lack of oxygen
- Traumatic injury of the brain later in life
- Genetic defects
- Degenerative disorders that affect the brain
- Metabolic and chemical disorders
- Infections of the nervous system
- Brain tumors and clots
- Toxic reactions to drugs and other substances
Some of the potential causes of damaged brain cells – and therefore epilepsy – can be prevented through good health care practices, highway safety, and recreational safety. For example, as a result of automobile accidents alone, 540,000 Americans suffered from head injuries each year. Almost 20,000 of them will develop persistent epileptic seizures as a result. Thus, prevention of epilepsy focuses on avoiding head injuries and brain damage by observing these simple points:
- Minimize risks in recreational activities (wear protective headgear for bicycling, skateboarding, football, baseball; play it safe when diving or climbing).
- Drive all vehicles safely (use seatbelts, observe speed limits, wear helmets where appropriate).