The cause of epilepsy can be defined as the initial reason for which someone has epilepsy. In many instances, the cause of the condition is a mystery. These are called idiopathic epilepsy. If the doctors have found the cause of the seizures, then we speak of symptomatic epilepsy. The following conditions can lead to epilepsy:
- Brain damage or injury: The level of brain damage or injury determines the effects on a person’s health. Sometimes the injury doesn’t bring any change in your functioning. But in some cases it can lead to physical challenges, such as epileptic seizures.
- Brain tumor: A tumor is an uncontrolled growth of a part of the body. Sometimes it’s cancerous, but sometimes it isn’t but can still cause damage by direct pressure on other tissues. Some tumors in the brain can cause epilepsy while others don’t. This means that not everyone who has a brain tumor gets epilepsy.
- Infections: Infections like cerebral malaria, meningitis, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis can especially affect the brain and lead to epilepsy if not properly treated in time.
- Stroke: A stroke is a blood clot that blocks the vessel which carries blood from the heart to the head, or the vessel breaks open. In some cases this can lead to epilepsy.
- Birth complications: When there are complications at birth, such as prolonged labor, the baby may lack oxygen and this may lead to brain injuries. These injuries may result in epilepsy in the baby or in later life.
- Alcohol or drugs: When one takes alcohol or drugs inappropriately over a long period of time, it may harm the brain and lead to epilepsy.
- Inheritance: Epilepsy is generally not inherited. However, in very exceptional cases, if a high number of family members are affected with the condition then there is a risk of passing it on to their children through their genes. Whatever the cause of epilepsy, one thing is clear: nobody chooses to have epilepsy. It can happen to anyone at any age and in any community.