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Causes of a Seizure

While the exact cause of some seizures can be hard to pinpoint, many seizures can be classified as either provoked or unprovoked. A provoked seizure would include traumatic injuries to the head, whereas an unprovoked seizure would include seizures caused by, for example, a congenital defect.

Unprovoked (“natural”) seizures:

Some seizures may be caused by “natural” phenomena occurring in the body, such as a congenital defect or a chemical imbalance. One example of this is a condition called GLUT-1 deficiency. Other examples include:

  • genetic factors
  • congenital (present at birth) problems or conditions
  • metabolic or chemical imbalances in the body
  • fever/infection
  • infection
  • neurological problems
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • unknown reasons

Provoked seizures:

Some seizures are considered provoked if they are caused by an event that happened to the individual. Brain injuries are often the cause of provoked seizures. Other examples include:

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For more information about the causes of seizures or to meet with our doctors, request an appointment at the Epilepsy Center.


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