Epilepsy has many possible causes, including illness, brain injury and abnormal brain development.
But in many cases, the underlying cause is unknown — and that’s OK. We can still find treatments that work. That’s because even if we don’t know what caused your epilepsy, we can still use some incredible technology to find which parts of your brain are sending out the wrong signals and starting your seizures.
Many patients wonder if they could have prevented their epilepsy. The truth is that epilepsy happens for reasons that you can’t control.
We do know that men have a slightly higher risk for epilepsy, while race and ethnicity appear to have little impact on risk. In addition, genetics may play a role in some types of epilepsy, although research is still exploring these connections.
Additional examples of risk factors include febrile seizures, previous brain infections, previous head traumas and strong family history of seizures.
Are your seizures caused by epilepsy or a different condition?
If you have one or more risk factors for epilepsy and you’ve begun experiencing symptoms, we can help you understand more about the condition and find out if it’s really epilepsy or something else.
As examples, stress- or anxiety-induced episodes, including panic attacks and something called psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, can look similar to an epileptic seizure.
Fortunately, we have the ability to tell the difference, and our experts at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center will partner with you to find exactly what we’re dealing with before figuring out the best way to treat it.