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Epilepsy

Can Epilepsy Be Prevented?

Last modified: 
22/03/2012 - 12:56

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Although researchers have not been able to determine exactly what causes epilepsy, it is often triggered by events or conditions that cause injury to the brain. One way to try to prevent epilepsy is to prevent the events or conditions that lead to its development.

  • Epilepsy is sometimes linked to head injuries. Head injuries can be prevented by wearing seatbelts and bicycle and motorcycle helmets, and by putting children in car seats.
  • Epilepsy is sometimes linked to abnormalities in fetal brain development. These abnormalities can be prevented by good prenatal care, including treatment of high blood pressure during pregnancy and infections during pregnancy.
  • Epilepsy is sometimes linked to another condition that can cause damage to the brain. Conditions that sometimes trigger epilepsy include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and infections. By seeking early treatment and control of these conditions, it may be possible to prevent the kind of brain damage that may cause epilepsy.
  • Conditions such as encephalitis, a brain tumor, a high fever, or a serious head injury must be treated early and rigorously in order to prevent serious complications such as epilepsy from developing.
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Epilepsy

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.