Epilepsy Foundation

No one in my family had seizures but my aunt, how is it possible that I got it?

I'm 17 years old and I have different forms of seizures and they vary. No body else in my family had seizures but my mothers sister. My aunt. I doubt I got seizures from her genetics. The doctors think it was possible I fell when I was little and that could've caused the seizures I have now (which I started having seizures in 7th grade) I do remember falling back in 2nd grade but I don't remember it being a very bad fall. I fell over and hit the back of my head on a near by table. I also doubt that I got my seizures from that little of a fall. My seizures have gotten worse than they were back in 7th grade. The first type of seizures I had were absent seizures where I blanked out for a second and came back. The next type of seizures I ended up getting (and I still have them sometimes) were mioclonic seizures. Now I have gramal seizures as well. It varies, sometimes I have seizures where I'm aware that I'm having them and I know that I can't control my body and I see everything and what's happening and where I'm at. Sometimes I have seizures where I can't see anything, I'm not aware of what's going on and I have no control of my body what so ever. My aunt only had gramal seizures. How is it that I got all these types of seizures since it might not even be that little fall that caused them, or my aunts experience of having them as well since she isn't my mother?

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The following link may be of interest to you:

http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/types/causes/index.cfm

 

Mary Ann Thornton

The Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Resource Center

 

Angelique,

 

I'm with the other person who posted here. I think the distant reletives can play a role, more than people can think. I think the fact that your aunt also having E has to be something.

 

I really don't know, and we are still pretty new to E. My son was newly diagnosed in November with JAE. The doctors told us it is more likely that it was genetic, which baffled us. That was until we found out that my husband's grandmother had E since childhood. He never knew. There are cousins on that side with E too that we never knew. Also, I discovered that on my side my great-grandmother also had seizures. My son has the same type of seizures as his great-grandmother. It may seem far down the line, but I couldn't ignore it. E skipped a few generations for us.

 

Besides if you think about it, we don't always have exact fetures as our parents...right? Sometimes we act more like our more distant family, right? Art seems to be inborn for some of us in my family, but that skipped over generations too. Oh, by the way - my husband and I both have dark brown hair and our son was born and still has red hair. Interesting isn't it?

 

About the "kindling" thing, I was thinking just last night of times over the past year. I recalled many times when I became upset when my son "wasn't listening". I just wonder...he may have had absence seizures then?

 

Anyhow, I hope you are getting controld soon. Take care!

 

Yes I have had an MRI done and they still can't figure out what's causing them. It's just a little strange that my seizures started out of no where. I did everything the same all throughout my life, nothing changed, normal life until my seizures started. Their much more under control now than they were over a year ago. It took a lot of trial and error with my medications, which ones were best for my seizures, how much the dosage should be. (I don't recommended considering Depacote unless you absolutly have to. The doctor said it is possible that I could outgrow my seizures, but at the age of 17, I'm really starting to have doubts that I'll ever outgrow them.

epileptic said:

Angelique, some people have genes that make them more susceptible to seizures. Some of these people that are susceptible will never have a seizure. Some do. It is important to keep seizure triggers under control, such as paying attention to how hormones affect them, food reactions, sleep, stress, weather, exercise, etc...whatever triggers it for you.

 

It sounds to me like you have the same type of epilepsy I do...'juvenile myoclonic epilepsy'; but I am not a doctor so take that with a grain of salt. It is likely your aunt had absent seizures that went noticed, and may have turned into grand mal via the 'kindling effect' (again, controversial, and take with a grain of salt. These may be things to bring up with a medical professional if you are interested in more 'educated' speculation)

 

A lot of people w/ juvi myo epilepsy have their first seizures during puberty. For many, it is catamenial (related to hormones.) It is a good thing you were able to get this under control, and noticed the seizures at a young age. Have you had an MRI done?

 

For me the epilepsy skipped a generation and my grandfather, great grandmother & great uncle were the ones who had it. But many members of my family have symptoms 'related' to the epilepsy gene, such as migraines. I have read about some studies that state eeg's done on family members will sometimes show abnormal activity, even if they have never been diagnosed.There is a lot that is unknown about the 'epilepsy genes'...

I was actually thinking on trying to find out if any other relatives had something to do with my seizures, but since not many of my relatives on my mother's side is still alive I can't really look back on that now unless we have a family tree along with their medical history. -.- The only medical problems I'm aware of on my fathers side though was asthma. I had that up until 15 than I outgrew it. As for you son not "paying attention" there are one of two things possible, 1.)He had an absent seizure, or 2.)He just wasn't paying attention and spacing out. But to see if he actually did though, did he ever start talking and than in the middle of a sentence of doing something he just stopped, like mid-sentence did he stop talking or did his body stop while he was doing something, like go compeltly still? When I had absent seizures I used to do that. I was only "not paying attention" for a split second and was a little confused when I woke up from the little spell. And the features things from our parents is a good valid point. I look nothing like my mom, I'm all my dad so you got a point there.

A. Chafin said:

Angelique,

 

I'm with the other person who posted here. I think the distant reletives can play a role, more than people can think. I think the fact that your aunt also having E has to be something.

 

I really don't know, and we are still pretty new to E. My son was newly diagnosed in November with JAE. The doctors told us it is more likely that it was genetic, which baffled us. That was until we found out that my husband's grandmother had E since childhood. He never knew. There are cousins on that side with E too that we never knew. Also, I discovered that on my side my great-grandmother also had seizures. My son has the same type of seizures as his great-grandmother. It may seem far down the line, but I couldn't ignore it. E skipped a few generations for us.

 

Besides if you think about it, we don't always have exact fetures as our parents...right? Sometimes we act more like our more distant family, right? Art seems to be inborn for some of us in my family, but that skipped over generations too. Oh, by the way - my husband and I both have dark brown hair and our son was born and still has red hair. Interesting isn't it?

 

About the "kindling" thing, I was thinking just last night of times over the past year. I recalled many times when I became upset when my son "wasn't listening". I just wonder...he may have had absence seizures then?

 

Anyhow, I hope you are getting controld soon. Take care!

 

Genes can be a weird thing my aunt on my mother side had seizures too only one out of seven girls .  I also had a cousin on my fathers side die in his early 20's undiagnosed in the bathtub who they thought had a seizure an drown . But there there are are people with heart problems or cancer that are supposed to be genetic an skipped generations or went undiagnosed. Maybe people in earlier in your family went undiagnosed as I did for years I did not have drop down seizures all time they may have simply been thought as the strange family member or in a loony bin had weird movements  faded in an out  .
I don't know of anybody in my family except my aunt that did though. My great grandmother and father didn't have it, neither did my great grandparents on my fathers side either.

kelly clarke said:
Genes can be a weird thing my aunt on my mother side had seizures too only one out of seven girls .  I also had a cousin on my fathers side die in his early 20's undiagnosed in the bathtub who they thought had a seizure an drown . But there there are are people with heart problems or cancer that are supposed to be genetic an skipped generations or went undiagnosed. Maybe people in earlier in your family went undiagnosed as I did for years I did not have drop down seizures all time they may have simply been thought as the strange family member or in a loony bin had weird movements  faded in an out  .

You know.  I had an uncle from my mother's side of my family that developed epilepsy when he was young.  He passed away when he was 16 from an illness unrelated to it though.  I know I've hit my head numerous times over my youth and young adult years when I guess I should've developed it earlier in my life.  I ended up finding out that I was allergic to some food source and that this caused my epilepsy to start in my early thirties.  I can't think of anybody else in my family that has or had epilepsy right now, but I'm sure there are more.  I guess it can be choosy for some in the family.  :)

 

 

Later,

 

Ray 

Oh wow. How did you find out you were allergic to it. I mean I've been eating the same things all of my life, I haven't noticed any changes

Raymond MaGee said:

You know.  I had an uncle from my mother's side of my family that developed epilepsy when he was young.  He passed away when he was 16 from an illness unrelated to it though.  I know I've hit my head numerous times over my youth and young adult years when I guess I should've developed it earlier in my life.  I ended up finding out that I was allergic to some food source and that this caused my epilepsy to start in my early thirties.  I can't think of anybody else in my family that has or had epilepsy right now, but I'm sure there are more.  I guess it can be choosy for some in the family.  :)

 

 

Later,

 

Ray 

Hi Angelique,

The Epilepsy Resource Center would also like to provide you with the following information

http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/types/causes/genetics.cfm

https://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/research/epgp.cfm?renderforprint=1&

http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/answerplace/Life/adults/women/Pro...

The Epilepsy Resource Center thanks you for sharing with the community and we look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

 

Cordially,

Gigi Jones

Information Specialist

Yeah, I followed up on a suggestion that somebody gave me concerning my type of diagnosis for epilepsy.  Turns out that I am gluten sensitive and that it was something that built up over time.  I have cut that out of my diet and notice that if I happen to have some gluten product or something that is in contact with gluten, it can lead to multiple auras or simple partial siezures that leave me not feeling well in the head and having my taste buds totally off and I can't eat anything because it all tastes bad.

Angelique Michelle Garza said:
Oh wow. How did you find out you were allergic to it. I mean I've been eating the same things all of my life, I haven't noticed any changes

Raymond MaGee said:

You know.  I had an uncle from my mother's side of my family that developed epilepsy when he was young.  He passed away when he was 16 from an illness unrelated to it though.  I know I've hit my head numerous times over my youth and young adult years when I guess I should've developed it earlier in my life.  I ended up finding out that I was allergic to some food source and that this caused my epilepsy to start in my early thirties.  I can't think of anybody else in my family that has or had epilepsy right now, but I'm sure there are more.  I guess it can be choosy for some in the family.  :)

 

 

Later,

 

Ray 

Ooohhhh. So it was because it had built up over time why you ended up allergic to it?

Raymond MaGee said:
Yeah, I followed up on a suggestion that somebody gave me concerning my type of diagnosis for epilepsy.  Turns out that I am gluten sensitive and that it was something that built up over time.  I have cut that out of my diet and notice that if I happen to have some gluten product or something that is in contact with gluten, it can lead to multiple auras or simple partial siezures that leave me not feeling well in the head and having my taste buds totally off and I can't eat anything because it all tastes bad.

Angelique Michelle Garza said:
Oh wow. How did you find out you were allergic to it. I mean I've been eating the same things all of my life, I haven't noticed any changes

Raymond MaGee said:

You know.  I had an uncle from my mother's side of my family that developed epilepsy when he was young.  He passed away when he was 16 from an illness unrelated to it though.  I know I've hit my head numerous times over my youth and young adult years when I guess I should've developed it earlier in my life.  I ended up finding out that I was allergic to some food source and that this caused my epilepsy to start in my early thirties.  I can't think of anybody else in my family that has or had epilepsy right now, but I'm sure there are more.  I guess it can be choosy for some in the family.  :)

 

 

Later,

 

Ray 

I guess so.  I found out that my grandmother had been allergic to wheat as well, but no one every really discussed it as it did seem to effect anybody else in the family.  Who knew.  :)

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