What Do I Need To Know About Epilepsy Genetics?

Recent research has shown that changes in genes contribute to causing most epilepsies. Learning why genetic testing for epilepsy is important can make a difference to your treatment and medical management. Genetic testing can also help you understand who else in your family may be at risk for developing this condition.

The Causes of Epilepsy

The majority of epilepsies are due to genetic changes. Some of these changes, called mutations, can be inherited within a family. People who carry these mutations are born with them – they do not develop over time. Finding a genetic cause for your/your family member’s epilepsy can help you:

  • Get better information about what to expect in the future
  • Learn about the potential of someone else in the family having epilepsy, including future children
  • Choose a better anti-seizure medicine or other treatment
  • End the search for an answer about why the epilepsy began
  • Avoid other costly or invasive testing to find a cause for the epilepsy
  • Connect with other families in a similar situation