7 Common Risk Factors for Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that is characterized by recurrent, spontaneous seizures. It is the fourth most common neurological disorder and is prevalent around the world, affecting approximately 65 million people.

In the United States alone 3.4 million people have epilepsy, and 1 in 26 will develop it during their lifetime. Unfortunately, there is a rarely a known cause for epilepsy. There are, however, a number of risk factors that can increase a person’s likelihood of developing it—such as these seven.

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1. Family History

A family history of epilepsy can sometimes increase a person’s likelihood of developing the condition. But WebMD says this depends on the type of epilepsy the relatives have had.

The source says that “[s]everal types of childhood epilepsy may be passed from parent to child,” such as benign focal childhood epilepsy, childhood absence epilepsy, and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. While epilepsy caused by a head injury or stroke are less likely to be passed on from parent to child.

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