The onset of epilepsy is associated with a number of different neurological disorders from infection to disease and brain injuries. However, the condition does not always develop in people with high risk factors.
Because some types of epilepsy run in families, genetic factors are related conditions of the disorder. Genes linked to epilepsy include those that regulate enzymes that break down proteins or carbohydrates and control how neurons send signals. Genes that control steps in brain development may cause dysplasia, groups of misplaced or abnormal neurons that can lead to epilepsy.
A number of infections are related conditions of epilepsy, such as meningitis, viral encephalitis, AIDs. Oxygen deprivation of brain cells from cerebrovascular disease, stroke and heart attacks alter brain function in ways associated with epilepsy.
In addition, traumatic head injuries are related to epilepsy. Single severe events such as a car accident, or repetitive blows as in some sports injuries may cause damage leading to the disorder.
Other related conditions of epilepsy arise from the condition itself. People may experience lack of sleep and emotional stress. Some individuals, particularly children, develop behavioral problems caused by embarrassment, frustration and being ostracized socially. At times, the result is low self-esteem, depression and suicidal tendencies.