Causes of Epilepsy

Epilepsy Information 2012

Causes of Epilepsy

The diagnosis on the causes of epilepsy is one of the more important and pressing concerns in medical science. In recent years the development of more sophisticated imaging machines has helped to simplify the process of identifying epilepsy causes, although in general it remains to be a very challenging task. Diagnosing epilepsy requires a lot of experience and knowledge to identify the correct form of the disease so as to correctly treat the problem. In this post, we will briefly outline the known causes of epilepsy in order to give the reader a bird’s eye view of what to look for when trying to characterize epilepsy cases.

The simplest categorization for the causes of epilepsy can be broken down as follows:

Idiopathic epilepsy - This refers to the class of epilepsy that has no known cause. As far as current medical understanding is concerned, idiopathic epilepsy causes are typically due to chemical imbalance in the brain. Suspected precursors of these types of epilepsy range from being hereditary to being acquired from some event, but cannot be localized to a specific cause. Moreover, there are no visible abnormalities in the brain’s physical structure that would suggest the underlying reason behind idiopathic epilepsies.

Symptomatic epilepsy - This refers to a type of epilepsy that has traceable and attributable brain abnormalities as see in imaging scans. This can be further classified into the following causes of epilepsy:

1. Trauma - In this case, the child is born perfectly normal but develops problems in the physical structure of the brain following an event that induces physical trauma. For example, children that experience violent vehicular accidents at a young age and are not properly checked out afterwards could possibly develop trauma-based epilepsies. In other cases, even simple accidents such as a hit to the head can induce epilepsy symptoms at a later time.

2. Developmental problems - Other causes of epilepsy can also be categorized as belonging to those due to developmental problems. Sometimes abnormalities in the brain happen while the baby is still developing in the mother’s womb. Shortly after birth, the developmental problems manifest as seizures and are categorized as symptomatic developmental epilepsy.

3. Illness - Diseases that affect the brain such as encephalitis or meningitis can also lead to epilepsy. While they are easy to spot and categorize, these illnesses are causes of epilepsy that can be prevented if the illness can be cured or treated as soon as possible.

There is no assurance that identifying the causes of epilepsy can lead to cure. However, in many cases, the identification of the causes of epilepsy can help doctors manage the condition to a certain extent. Thus, it is seriously important to identify the potential causes so they can be diagnosed and treated at the earliest possible time before the condition progresses beyond remedy. Given that the brain is a very delicate part of the human body, doctors and family members alike need to learn all they can about the condition so it can be managed properly. Of course the patient should also study and learn all they can about the signs and symptoms of an upcoming episode so they can take appropriate action to protect themselves in case of a seizure.

This of course has been a general article on the causes of epilepsy. For more information browse through more of our articles and bookmark our site for future use. We try to stay up to date with any new developments.