These risk factors give you a higher chance of developing epilepsy:
Age: Epilepsy can begin at any age, but more people are diagnosed at two distinct phases in life: childhood and after age 60.
Brain infections: Infections, such as meningitis, inflame the brain and spinal cord and can increase your risk for developing epilepsy.
Childhood seizures: Some children develop seizures not related to epilepsy during their childhood years. Very high fevers may cause these seizures. As they grow older, some of these children may develop epilepsy.
Dementia: People experiencing a decline in mental function may also develop epilepsy. This is most common in older adults.
Family history: If a close family member has epilepsy, you are more likely to develop this disorder.
Head injuries: Previous falls, concussions, or injuries to your head may cause epilepsy. Taking precautions during activities such as bicycling, skiing, and riding a motorcycle can help protect your head against injury and possibly prevent a future epilepsy diagnosis.
Vascular diseases: Blood vessel diseases and strokes can cause brain damage. Damage to any area of the brain may trigger seizures and eventually epilepsy. The best way to prevent epilepsy caused by vascular diseases is to care for your heart and blood vessels with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Also, avoid tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.
Having epilepsy increases your risk for certain complications. Some of these complications are more common than others.
The most common complications include: