What is the Main Cause of Epilepsy?

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What is the Main Cause of Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Seizures are sudden surges of electrical activity in the brain that can affect behavior, movements, feelings, and consciousness.

Understanding the causes of epilepsy is crucial for developing effective treatments and providing better care for those affected by the condition.

This blog explores the primary causes of epilepsy, shedding light on the factors that contribute to the onset of this disorder.

What is the Main Cause of Epilepsy?

Genetic Factors

Inherited Genetic Mutations: One of the significant causes of epilepsy is genetic predisposition. Research has shown that epilepsy can be inherited, meaning that genetic mutations passed down from parents to their children can make individuals more susceptible to developing the condition. Specific genes linked to epilepsy affect the way brain cells communicate, leading to abnormal electrical activity.

De Novo Mutations: In addition to inherited genetic mutations, de novo mutations—new mutations that occur spontaneously in an individual—can also cause epilepsy. These mutations are not present in the parents’ genes but arise in the affected person. Such mutations can disrupt normal brain function and increase the risk of seizures.

Structural Brain Abnormalities

Congenital Brain Malformations: Epilepsy can be caused by structural abnormalities in the brain. Congenital brain malformations, such as cortical dysplasia, where the brain’s cortical layer does not develop properly, can lead to epilepsy. These abnormalities are often present from birth and can interfere with normal brain function, triggering seizures.

Acquired Brain Injuries: Brain injuries acquired after birth are another common cause of epilepsy. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), such as those resulting from accidents, falls, or sports injuries, can damage brain tissue and create scar tissue, which can disrupt normal electrical activity and lead to seizures. Additionally, infections like meningitis or encephalitis can cause inflammation and damage to the brain, increasing the risk of epilepsy.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Severe nutritional deficiencies, particularly in early childhood, can adversely affect brain development and function, potentially leading to epilepsy. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, have been linked to an increased risk of seizures.


There can be a range of disorders and conditions that can cause epilepsy. The above-discussed ones are some of the main ones. So, if you are suffering from the same sorts of disorders you might want to get checked up by a doctor to confirm that you have epilepsy or any other condition.

Dr. Rahul Mathur
Consultant Neuropsychiatris

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