Causes Of Brain Seizures

Epilepsy Information 2012

Causes Of Brain Seizures

Brain seizures are caused by a dysfunction in the electrical signals in the brain. There are of two types of seizures, epileptic seizures and non-epileptic seizures, though epileptic seizures are the most common type.

There are many different causes of brain seizures and determining the cause is an important part of treatment. This is because the cause determines the appropriate course of treatment to a great extent.

Before looking at the causes of brain seizures, it is important to make the distinction between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures. Epileptic seizures are also referred to as unprovoked seizures. This is because these types of seizures have no cause other than the epilepsy. That is to say, the causes of seizures is the disorder of epilepsy itself. The cause of epilepsy is not exactly known but the suggested causes include a birth defect in the brain, injury to the brain during birth and genetic factors.

Non-epileptic seizures are also known as provoked seizures. This is because they result from a condition or disorder that causes the brain to misfire. The causes of brain seizures of this type are many and wide ranging.

Some of the causes of brain seizures (the provoked kind) are:

Drugs – Using certain types of drugs, both illegal and prescription can cause seizures. Some prescription drugs such as certain antibiotics and anti-inflammatories have seizures as one of their side effects. Illegal drugs such as cocaine, PCP and amphetamines may also cause seizures. Withdrawal from drugs may also give the same result.

Brain damage –Damage to the brain during birth or as a result of a head injury can be one of the causes of brain seizures. Injury may lead to bleeding or pressure being exerted to the brain.

Brain tumors – Seizures are one of the symptoms of a brain tumor. The seizure may be caused by increased pressure on the brain from the tumor, the tumor itself, the medication for the tumor or scars from surgery.

Oxygen deprivation – Lack of oxygen to the brain, for example due to near drowning or carbon monoxide poisoning, may cause a seizure.

Infection – There are a number of infections that may cause seizures. These include syphilis, encephalitis, tetanus, malaria and meningitis.

Other causes of seizures include sleep deprivation, fatigue, dehydration, high blood pressure, poisoning and snake bites.

The causes of brain seizures will also depend on the time the seizures start. Generally, seizures that start in infanthood, before the age of 2, are caused by fevers and metabolic abnormalities. Seizures are temporary and do not re-occur once the underlying cause is gotten rid of. Many seizures that occur from the age of 2 to early teens are found to have no known cause and go away before adulthood. However, some seizures in adulthood can be found to have no cause as well.