By Healthtrip Team Blog Published on - 10 August - 2022

Is Epilepsy Genetic? It’s Rarer than You Think, Expert Says


For many years in the past, there were misunderstandings about epilepsy. People used to believe that epilepsy is something that can be passed on to children. Though genetics does play a role in epilepsy, it’s rarer than you think. Apart from genetics, multiple factors can cause epilepsy. In this article, we've covered a variety of epilepsy causes, common triggers, and much more.

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What are the causes of epilepsy?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the causes of approximately half of all epilepsy cases are unknown. Seizures can be caused by "anything that disrupts the normal pattern of neuronal activity — from illness to brain damage to abnormal brain development," according to the NIH.

However, the cause of epilepsy may vary based on age. The following are the causes that can contribute to causing epilepsy, as per The Epilepsy Foundation.

For newborns:

  • Malformations of the brain
  • Oxygen deficiency during birth
  • Low blood sugar, low calcium, low magnesium, or other electrolyte issues
  • Inborn metabolic mistakes
  • Intracranial bleeding
  • Drug use among mothers

In babies and children:

-Fever (febrile seizures)


Adults and children:

-Congenital conditions like Down syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, and neurofibromatosis

-Factors of genetic origin

-A brain disease that progresses (rare)

-Trauma to the head

Senior citizens:




Also, read - Neurological Disorders and their Symptoms

Does genetics play a role in epilepsy?

Many types of epilepsy are caused by genetic factors.

  • If a parent has idiopathic epilepsy, the child has a 9 to 12 percent chance of developing epilepsy as well.
  • Although epilepsy that runs in families is uncommon, if a child has epilepsy, their siblings are at a higher risk of having epilepsy as well.
  • If one twin has idiopathic epilepsy, the other is very likely to as well.
  • Children of epileptic women have a higher risk of developing epilepsy than children of epileptic men.

Also, read - Neurosurgery in Modern Times

What are the factors that trigger seizures?

There are some common triggers to watch out for if you have epilepsy. A trigger is not the same as a cause; a trigger occurs after you have epilepsy and occurs fairly consistently before seizures (and happens more often than simply by chance). Triggers can lower a person's "seizure threshold," increasing the likelihood of a seizure.

Some of the most common epilepsy triggers are as follows:

Consumption of alcoholic beverages

Withdrawal from alcohol


Low blood sugar levels



Insomnia(sleep disturbances)

Changes in hormones associated with the menstrual cycle

Toxin or poison exposure (lead, carbon monoxide, street drugs, excessively large doses of antidepressants or other prescribed medications)

As suggested by our neuro experts, keeping a journal of your symptoms can help you track the trigger factors and identify them.

Also, read - Neurosurgeon Vs Orthopaedic Surgeon for Back Pain

How can we help with the treatment?

If you are in search of epilepsy treatment in India, our medical trip advisors will serve as your guide throughout the treatment. They will be physically present with you even before the medical treatment begins. The following will be provided to you:

  • Opinions of expert physicians and surgeons
  • Transparent communication
  • Coordinated care
  • Prior appointment with specialists
  • Assistance with hospital formalities
  • 24*7 availability
  • Arrangement for travel
  • Assistance for accommodation and healthy recovery
  • Assistance in emergencies

We are dedicated to offering the highest quality medical tourism in India to our patients. We have a team of highly qualified and devoted health trip advisors who will be by your side from the beginning of your journey.