Any insult to the brain under unfavorable conditions can provoke seizures. In a subset of these patients the seizures may recur spontaneously. Depending on the age the cause of epilepsy varies to a certain extent. However, birth injuries, anoxic brain damage, intracranial bleeding, intracranial infections and tumors are the common identifiable causes of seizures. Metabolic disorders, hypoglycemia and electrolyte abnormalities can also lead to seizures. Frequent febrile convulsions can result in epilepsy. Another important cause of seizure is excessive use or withdrawal of alcohol.
However no cause for epilepsy can be detected in about 70 percent of patients. Majority of these seizures are believed to be due to subtle hypoxia during birth. When the seizures begin in localized area of the body (Focal epilepsy) it is more likely to be due to an underlying damage of the respective area of the brain. Such patients need detailed evaluation and sometimes investigations such as CT Scan to delineate the type of damage.