Genetic (also called idiopathic) epilepsy has no apparent cause. It’s likely due to genetics, even if there’s no family history of epilepsy. Approximately 30 percent of epilepsies are genetic, and most often seizures begin in childhood. Genetic epilepsy syndromes are usually treated with medication and children often outgrow many types of them.
Common types of genetic epilepsy are:
Symptomatic epilepsy is not genetic and has a known cause such as:
Symptomatic epilepsy is more common in adults, particularly those over age 60. Treatment options include medication and surgery. Types of symptomatic epilepsy include:
- Hippocampal sclerosis
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
Cryptogenic epilepsy is probably symptomatic epilepsy and has a likely cause, but the cause hasn’t been identified.