Epilepsy Foundation

I was just wondering, I've read different things so not completely sure but is Epilepsy hereditary??

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I would say that's a good question because it's divided.  I've seen families where it looks to be passed on (several members / different generations).  I have three cousins who have it but we got it at different times.  Two of us were very young.  Two of us were in our 30's/40's.  None of the kids have it.

 

I sure don't know how they want to classify it.

 

Ed

I once had a forum of hereditary of personality split that causes seizure's on april of 2011,  to the genetics of our family tree in comparisons of how one behaves during & after an episode or you would like (ep attack);  the reasons are that at times our genes can be related to the characters during the offsprings that is too early to be detected and for those perhaps a Yes!, Not often can a primary physician can always obtain information until you are reschedule for a (mri/catscan technology) than per se can detect it right away, No we're not insane just a condition that can be related to our hereditary.  Do hope for sure Anya that most will be regarded as sane with a good ( : head on our shoulders, to wonder is to be intuitive as our parents since is all connected.  I really do hope that you and yours have a safe St. Patricks day seizure free always.

~Eugina

Hi Anya,

  According to both my Epileptologist and neurosurgeon epilepsy can be inherdited by family genes.  I have 3 cousins that have epilepsy and I thought that there was a possibility that I got my epilepsy do to family genes but I found out that I had to have the same type of sz. as my other family members did and I don't but if I'm not mistaken if chromosomes 14 and 21 don't match up correctly then a person can inherit epilepsy from others in their family.  I wish you the best of luck and May God Bless You!

             Sue

Anya,

ABSOLUTLY WITHOUT A DOUBT!!! There are 10 of us in our family that have it. They are all living. Who knows how far back it goes beyond that. People didn't talk about it back then. My aunt has epilepsy and one of her 3 boys has it. I have it and one of my 2 boys has it. It is not a guarantee that every child will get it. However, it is not a guarantee that just because one person didn't get it that their child won't. It can skip a generation. It can skip one sibling and get another. You can have it pop up in child hood, teen years or adulthood. There is no rhyme or reason to epilepsy. The best thing that you can do is be informed and always educate others that could possibly be effected by this disease. Keeping quiet about it only hurts others in the long run. Does epilepsy run in his family??

Nice seeing you again,

Carrie

My understanding is that while there are inherited forms of epilepsy, there are also lots of causes of epilepsy that are not inherited. Anything that injures the brain can cause seizures - blows to the head, infections, tumors, parasites, lack of oxygen (perhaps when being born), malformations of blood vessels in the brain that are not necessarily hereditary, and the list goes on and on. There are also nutritional imbalances that can lead to seizures. To confuse things further, there seem to be genes that make it slightly more likely for people to develop epilepsy if they do get head injuries, for instance. How does one assess something like that?

A quick search on the question of whether epilepsy is inherited produces a reply at http://www.epilepsy.com/101/ep101_inherited that ends:

If I have epilepsy, will my children also have it?
Less than 2 people out of every 100 (2%) develop epilepsy at some point during their lifetime. The risk for children whose father has epilepsy is only slightly higher. If the mother has epilepsy and the father does not, the risk is still less than 5%. If both parents have epilepsy, the risk is a bit higher. Most children will not inherit epilepsy from a parent, but the chance of inheriting epilepsy is higher for some types.

If you have epilepsy, it is normal for you to be afraid that your children will have epilepsy too. However, a fear that your children will have epilepsy is not enough reason to decide against having any. The risk is low, most children outgrow epilepsy, and most people who have it are able to control their seizures by taking one medicine.

Topic Editor: Steven C. Schachter, M.D.

Obviously, this is the sort of question you ought to discuss with your boyfriend's doctor, since the answer depends completely on what sort of epilepsy he has and what its cause is. But I found Dr. Schachter's statistics pretty comforting.

Tim M.

A couple more links are http://www.hms.harvard.edu/hmni/On_The_Brain/Volume6/Number1/Epil.html and http://www.faqs.org/health-encyc/Diseases-of-The-Body/Muscle-Diseas... . A quote from the second of these (with apologies to those who dislike the word "epileptic"):

There is no indication that epilepsy itself can be inherited, but some evidence exists that certain individuals inherit a greater tendency to develop the condition from precipitating causes than is true for the general population. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, studies show that if neither parent has epilepsy, the chances are one in 100 that they will have an epileptic child, but the chances rise to one in 40 if one parent is epileptic.

Obviously, this isn't an idle question for you right now, but stay calm and keep breathing. What I think these papers are saying is that the risk is not that great. Your boyfriend's doctor can say a lot more about his own situation.
Tim M.

Thanks for all your comments - all muchly appreciated!

Carrie, his cousin had it but she outgrew it. There are no oher cases of it in his family. He didnt get epilepsy until he was 15. Hope you're well and have had a good weekend!

Hi Anya,

Epilepsy at times can be hereditary but I think it depends on the type of epilepsy you have. For example I have Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy and my primary seizures are absence seizures and myoclonic seizures(the ones that occur most often). I also have a cousin with absence seizures as well. I was told by my neurologist the more family members with idiopathic generalized epilepsy or generalized seizures, you have the risk of getting one of the generalized epilepsies. The only thing I don't know is if it is just for those with idiopathic generalized or if it is the same for those with symptomatic and cryptogenic as well.

Nobody in my family has epilepsy and I was born with it. My daughter doesn't have epilepsy. I know, though, that it can be genetic. I don't know what percent of people who have epilepsy (not including causes such as head injuries and brain tumors) have family members with epilepsy. It would be interesting to find out.

Hi Anya Raine,

Well, after I tell you something please respond as I would like you to tell me

my name is Amy Kemp, but my name on these boards is 4generations.

1. My grandmother - mothers side

2. My mother - my mom

3. Me

4. My son

Now I think there is definitely a ancestral footprint here as I have 4 consecutive generations, yet onset was at different times.

1. Grandmother-after a stroke.

2. Mother- after a blow to the head at 44 yrs

3. Me- not sure/onset puberty 11 yrs old or hit head on swimming pool slide.

4. My son - not sure/grade 2 intracranial bleed at birth AKA stroke/concussion after walking in front of another child on swings at school. My son's onset was at 9 and outgrew his seizures at 14. None of my other family members did.

Now believe it or not, I had a discussion with a neurologist who told me they are not hereditary. Anya Raine, due to my family history I just cannot state it is NOT hereditary. I have too much proof.

My mother questions my sister as she picks her clothing a lot. A certain seizure is where people "pick". My sister would never own up to it.

-Amy 

Hey Amy, I understand how you feel about seizures being hereditary. My story is my mom was born with them and they ended when she was 13. However I started having them when I was 13 and unfortunately they are still here. Several people have said that it is not hereditary but I never had a trauma to my head before.
 
4generations said:

Hi Anya Raine,

Well, after I tell you something please respond as I would like you to tell me

my name is Amy Kemp, but my name on these boards is 4generations.

1. My grandmother - mothers side

2. My mother - my mom

3. Me

4. My son

Now I think there is definitely a ancestral footprint here as I have 4 consecutive generations, yet onset was at different times.

1. Grandmother-after a stroke.

2. Mother- after a blow to the head at 44 yrs

3. Me- not sure/onset puberty 11 yrs old or hit head on swimming pool slide.

4. My son - not sure/grade 2 intracranial bleed at birth AKA stroke/concussion after walking in front of another child on swings at school. My son's onset was at 9 and outgrew his seizures at 14. None of my other family members did.

Now believe it or not, I had a discussion with a neurologist who told me they are not hereditary. Anya Raine, due to my family history I just cannot state it is NOT hereditary. I have too much proof.

My mother questions my sister as she picks her clothing a lot. A certain seizure is where people "pick". My sister would never own up to it.

-Amy 

  Hello wonderer,  Genetically complex forms of the disease; Similarly, by studying the physiologic impact of specific mutations, These advances also contributes to our ability to recognize diagnose inherited neurologic diseases (brain disease) (temporal love epilepsy personality) What I mean is Borderline Personality Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, Mood, personality changes.Mental  Disorder-Multiple personality is sometimes in common with temporal Lobe Epilepsy, Temporal lobe epilepsy sometimes can lead to personality split.

Hoping  that you and yours always seizure free 4ever!

~Eugina

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