The causes of epilepsy generally falls into three groups:
The majority of epilepsies (around 60%) have no known cause.
If your child has epilepsy or has had seizures but doesn’t have a diagnosis yet, we have lots of information and resources to support you.
It is impossible to accurately say whether or not a child of someone with epilepsy will inherit the condition. This is because there are so many types of epilepsy and different factors as to whether a child might inherit it.
Some people just have a low seizure threshold and this means that they are less able to cope with the burst of electrical activity, making them more vulnerable to stresses on the brain. This is thought to have a genetic basis.
One of our research projects is currently looking into the link between genes and epilepsy.
If you are concerned about the possibility of your child inheriting epilepsy, you should raise this question with your doctor. They will know what type of epilepsy you have and whether it is a type that will tend to run in families.
They can also refer you to a genetic counsellor and they will be able to give you much more precise information.