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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is epilepsy genetic?

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    Established in 1952, Epilepsy Action Australia provides education and support for people with epilepsy, their families and community, and professional groups. These services promote self-management … View Profile

    Although epilepsy can be acquired in some people (through a severe head injury for example), considering that at least 50% of people with epilepsy have no known cause for their condition - there is strong evidence that genetic factors may cause or contribute to many types of epilepsy. This area is currently being researched a great deal.

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    janinecaruso

    HealthShare Member

    I have heard that epilepsy is not hereditary. What is the difference between hereditary and genetic?

  • Established in 1952, Epilepsy Action Australia provides education and support for people with epilepsy, their families and community, and professional groups. These services promote self-management … View Profile

    Hereditary and genetic essentially mean the same thing. Genetic factors are more likely in what is called ‘primary generalised epilepsy’ which means it is of no known cause. For example, absence and tonic clonic seizures.

    It is also thought that some people inherit a predisposition to seizures and epilepsy just like they do to asthma, diabetes and other chronic conditions. However, not everyone who inherits a predisposition to a condition actually acquires that condition.

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