Hereditary epilepsy

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Hereditary epilepsy

Some forms of epilepsy are inherited. The risk of having a sick child in a woman with epilepsy depends on the form of the disease. 

Hereditary (genetic) forms give a 7% risk of developing any form of epilepsy in offspring. At what age you can expect the onset of hereditary forms of epilepsy, we describe in the article Age and Epilepsy.

With structural (symptomatic) epilepsy, the risk is less than 0.01%.

There are forms of diseases with an unknown type of inheritance, in which the risk is less than 1%.

The likelihood of developing the disease in children depends on various reasons.

To assess the likelihood of transmission of epilepsy, it is also important: whether other children, father, close relatives are sick. Epilepsy is transmitted from the father in the same probability as from the mother.

A consultation with a geneticist helps to determine the risk of having sick children, taking into account all individual factors.

Children with a hereditary form of epilepsy from healthy parents, from a mother with epilepsy, from a dad with epilepsy, from both parents with different forms of epilepsy, have been at my consultation, four children in a family have developed four different forms of genetic generalized epilepsy. There are many cases when the acquired form of epilepsy (for example, after a traumatic brain injury) develops in people with a hereditary predisposition (there are relatives with epilepsy in their families).

Answering the question “is epilepsy transmitted or not by inheritance?”, We can answer that a predisposition to epilepsy is transmitted , but epilepsy is not a hereditary disease. 

So, the risk of having a sick child in a woman with epilepsy ranges from 0.01 to 7%.

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