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why do seizures happen?

Your brain controls the way you function. Inside your brain, millions of nerve cells (neurones) pass messages via electrical signals to each other. During a seizure these electrical signals are disrupted and this affects how you feel or what you do while the seizure is happening.

Sometimes there is a clear cause for seizures, for example, if someone has damage to their brain from a difficult birth, or an infection such as meningitis, a stroke or a head injury.

The likelihood of someone having seizures can also be partly genetic. This is sometimes inherited from one or both parents, but in some cases it may be from a change that happens only in the person's own genes. So even if someone has a genetic tendency to having seizures, in many cases epilepsy is not inherited.

Genetic – information in the DNA in our cells that controls our characteristics, for example hair colour, sex and height.

Your doctor or neurologist may be able to tell you what has caused your epilepsy, but this is not always possible. Research continues into understanding more about why seizures happen in some people and not in others.

Want to find out more?

Find out more about seizures including more detail about the causes of epilepsy.

If you would like to talk to someone

You can also talk to someone by calling our confidential helpline.

Taken from our Just diagnosed booklet. Order this booklet from our online shop as part of our 'first five free' offer, or download the pdf using the link below.