Causes of epilepsy in children and adults

Update: December 2018

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder with a peculiar
complex of symptoms. Distinctive features of the disease – seizures. AT
This article will discuss the causes of epilepsy.

Epileptic seizures are due to a pathological change.
brain bioelectric activity and caused by simultaneous discharge
huge population of nerve cells (hypersynchronous discharge).

AT голове, подобно удару молнии, возникают электрические заряды с
frequency and power of uncharacteristic normal brain function. They can
generated in certain areas of the cortex (focal attack),
or capture the whole brain (generalized).

Clinical manifestations of epilepsy

The main symptom of epilepsy is epileptic seizures,
or seizures. As a rule, they are short-lived (15 seconds – 5 minutes)
and start suddenly. ATозможные виды проявления:

  • Big seizure: a person loses consciousness, falls,
    muscles of the whole body involuntarily contract, foam comes from the mouth.
  • Small epileptic seizure (absence): a patient for several
    seconds faint. Face twitches convulsively. Person
    performs illogical actions.

Proper and timely treatment of the disease in 75% of cases
allows you to stop attacks or get rid of forever (more
for details see epilepsy – symptoms and treatment).

What is epilepsy?
  • Symptomatic – triggered by a structural defect
  • Idiopathic – there are no structural changes in the brain;
    genetic predisposition.
  • Cryptogenic – the cause of the disease is unclear. Withчины эпилепсии
When does epilepsy occur?

Epileptic seizures manifest in people:

  • up to 20 years in 75% of cases;
  • after 20 years, 16%;
  • in older age – about 2-5%.
Why does epilepsy occur?

AT 6 из 10 случаев заболеваемости причина эпилепсии неизвестна и
doctors consider genetic features – idiopathic and
cryptogenic form. Therefore, speaking of the causes of epilepsy,
consider a secondary or symptomatic form of the disease.

Epileptic seizures occur on the background of increasing
brain cell epileptic activity, the cause of which is not
clarified. Presumably this is based on chemical features.
brain neurons and specific properties of the cell membrane.

It is known that in patients with epilepsy brain tissue
highly sensitive to chemical changes as a result
exposure to various stimuli. Same signals received
the brain of a sick and healthy person lead in the first case to
attack, and go unnoticed – in the second.

AT зависимости от возраста, когда появились симптомы болезни,
one or another cause of seizures should be assumed

Hereditary epilepsy

Epilepsy can not be attributed to hereditary diseases. However, 40%
patients with epilepsy have relatives suffering from epileptic
seizures. A child may inherit specific abilities
brain activity, inhibition and excitation, increased
degree of readiness paroxysmal brain response to fluctuations
external and internal factors.

When a parent has epilepsy, the likelihood
inheritance of the disease by a child is 3-6%, if both are 10-12%.
The propensity for the disease is inherited more often if the attacks have
generalized, not focal.

Epileptic seizures in children appear earlier than in

The main causes of the disease

What provokes epilepsy, doctors are still definitely not
have established. AT 70% случаев диагностируется идиопатическая и
cryptogenic epilepsy, the causes of which remain

ATозможные причины:

  • Brain damage in the prenatal or perinatal period
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • ATрожденные дефекты и генетические изменения
  • Circulatory disorders of the head
  • Infectious diseases (meningitis, encephalitis,
  • Tumors and abscesses of the brain

The provoking factors of epilepsy are: Epilepsy in children причины

  • psycho-emotional stress
  • climate change
  • overwork
  • bright light
  • lack of sleep, and vice versa, excess sleep

Epilepsy in children

Children suffer from epilepsy three times more often than adults.
The nerve cells of a child’s brain are easily excitable. Even
high fever can cause epileptic
attack. AT раннем детском или подростковом возрасте (0-18 лет) чаще
just manifested idiopathic epilepsy.

The main cause of cramps in young children (20% of cases) –
perinatal complications caused by prenatal or generic
traumatic brain injury. Hypoxia (oxygen starvation) of the brain
causes disruption of the nervous system.

Early diagnosed epilepsy, cause in children
at the age of two years are congenital malformations of the head
brain and intrauterine infections – cytomegaly, rubella,
toxoplasmosis, herpes (see toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, herpes with
pregnancy), is treated symptomatically by medication.

Head injuries

Post-traumatic epilepsy – a consequence of severe head injury
– diagnosed in 5-10% of cases. Road traffic
Incident or child abuse can cause
epileptic seizure. Epilepsy right after injury or later
some years. According to doctors, people after a serious injury
heads with loss of consciousness have an increased likelihood
возникновения epilepsy. Post-traumatic seizures in children
develop very slowly and may occur even after 25
years old.

Infectious diseases

When ingested into the soft shells of the brain of various alien
agents can develop toxic shock caused by
massive breakdown of microorganisms. ATысвободившиеся токсины
provoke a violation of microcirculation of the brain, provokes
intravascular blood coagulation, disrupt metabolic processes.
ATозможен отек мозга и повышение внутричерепного давления. it
negatively affects blood vessels, causes atrophy –
destruction of neurons and their compounds, gradual extinction, that
provokes seizures.

Circulatory disorders of the head

AT 4-5% пожилых людей острое нарушение кровоснабжения головного
мозга приводит к хроническим приступам epilepsy.

Ischemic stroke causes vessel spasm or blockage.
thrombus. Blood stops flowing normally to certain areas.
or parts of the brain, followed by oxygen starvation of tissues (see
signs of stroke in women, stroke left or right).

Hemorrhagic stroke is a consequence of hypertension and
atherosclerosis. Unable to withstand high pressure, vessel wall
head rupture and hemorrhage occurs. Then
swelling and death of the affected area of ​​the brain.

Disruption of metabolic processes

Hereditary metabolic disorders and acquired
(toxic metal poisoning) – the cause of 10% of cases
recurrent epileptic seizures.

Excess fat intake, malfunction
pancreas (see diabetes in women – signs)
provokes a change in metabolic processes, causes a heart attack
brain and hemorrhage.

Tumors and abnormalities of the brain

Epileptic seizures in 58% of cases – the first
a sign of a brain tumor of different localization. Neoplasms in
19-47.4% provoke epileptic seizures. Noted that
fast-growing tumors cause epilepsy more often than
slow growing Atypical formation cells disrupt normal
brain function. Damaged areas fail correctly
perceive and transmit signals received from the analyzers. With
eliminating the formation of epileptic seizures disappear.

Arteriovenous vascular dysplasia – a congenital anomaly, often
leading to recurrent epileptic seizures.

ATред лекарств и инсектицидов

Drugs, alcohol, uncontrolled use
drugs (barbiturates, benzodiazepines) or their
cancellation is a common cause of adult epilepsy. Violation
antiepileptic drugs
therapeutic dose without prescription provokes seizures
epilepsy. Elimination of the stimulus eliminates repetition.

Micronutrient deficiencies and risk of epilepsy

AT 1973 году Американским обществом неврологических наук по
research results link the deficit
некоторых минеральных веществ и развитием судорожных seizures.
ATажно контролировать норму цинка и магния в организме. Risk
the occurrence of seizures increases with a decrease in their concentration.
Magnesium is quickly consumed under stress, elevated temperatures and
loads. Even кратковременная недостача негативно влияет на
contractility of muscles and blood vessels.

New epilepsy studies

To this day, the study of epilepsy attacks, the causes
the occurrence of the disease. According to the latest Ruhr research
university in Bochum epilepsy with its characteristic uncontrolled
muscle contractions caused by changes in the cerebellar neurons,
directly responsible for the coordination of movements in the body. Until
these deviations cannot be detected after birth.

The disease is provoked by abnormal P / Q calcium channels, which
responsible for the flow of calcium ions into neurons. They are present
in almost all brain tissues, and if mutated
the nerve cells incorrectly process and transfer arising in
cerebellar signals. Thus are born uncontrollable epileptic

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