The developing brain is susceptible to many kinds of injury. Maternal infections, poor nutrition, and oxygen deficiencies are just some of the conditions that may take a toll on the brain of a developing baby. These conditions may lead to cerebral palsy, which often is associated with epilepsy, or they may cause epilepsy that is unrelated to any other disorders. About 20 percent of seizures in children are due to cerebral palsy or other neurological abnormalities. Abnormalities in genes that control development also may contribute to epilepsy.
Brain imaging of the fetus has improved dramatically. learn more
Cortical dysplasia occurs when the top layer of the brain does not form properly in the womb. It is one of the most common causes of epilepsy.
Fetal alcohol syndrome is a disorder caused by alcohol exposure in the womb. Alcohol interferes with brain development in the fetus. It also causes unusual physical features in the fetus, including facial structure abnormalities and bone growth deficiencies. Seizures may occur in more severe cases of fetal alcohol syndrome.