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What Are Risk Factors Associated with Epilepsy?

Learn about the risk factors associated with epilepsy and seizures from Steve Wolf, MD and Patty McGoldrick, NP in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Speaker 1: General risk factors for epilepsy and for seizures. There are certain populations that are much more at risk and these include people with an underlying developmental disability, particularly autism. There's a very high percentage of seizures in epilepsy in people with autism. There's a high percentage in people with cerebral palsy and mental retardation. There is a higher risk in people who have had some abnormality of their brain, things like the migrational abnormalities where the brain wasn't formed correctly in utero, and also some of the neurocutaneous disorders like tuberous sclerosis and some of the other ones, there's a much higher risk of epilepsy.

Speaker 2: How about family history? Family history if there are other people in the family that has seizures, that puts you at a higher risk as well.

Speaker 1: Right. That leads back to the Phenome/Genome Project, which we're undertaking to sort of map out families who have epilepsy and what the risk factors are.

Speaker 2: So it's important for the doctors to ask these questions, is there anybody else in the family who has seizures, and ask about birth history is what you're getting at.

Speaker 1: Right. The things that are risk factors for epilepsy are any kind of development delay, particularly autism, particularly mental retardation and cerebral palsy, family history of seizures and abnormalities that occurred in utero, certain syndromes including tuberous sclerosis and some of the other neurocutaneous syndromes.

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