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"The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives."



A risk factor is something that makes a person more likely to develop seizures and epilepsy. Sometimes a risk factor can cause scarring of the brain or lead to areas of the brain not developing or working right.

Risk Factors Include:

What if I don’t have any of those risk factors?

Although the disorders and injuries on these lists help to explain many cases of epilepsy, more people with epilepsy don't have any of these. Often we just don't know how or why epilepsy gets started.

What are seizure triggers?

Even though you may not know the cause of your epilepsy, you can look at whether there are factors (often called "triggers") that precipitate or provoke seizures. These triggers may make a person with epilepsy more likely to have a seizure in certain situations. The triggers could change the number or severity of seizures. Learning if you have any triggers can help you learn what to do next. Sometimes people can learn how to modify their lifestyle or environment to lessen the risk of triggers.

Authored By: Steven C. Schachter, MD Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN Joseph I. Sirven, MD