Dr. Alan Greene on Seizures and Genetics

What are the odds that I'll pass on a seizure disorder to my children?


I used to have grand mal seizures as a child. As I got older I would just have bad dizzy spells and kind of zone off. I didn't know until years later that what I was experiencing was still a form of seizure. I was wondering what are the chances of my children having seizures? I know that it can be genetic. And what kind of things should I look for?


Seizure disorders do sometimes run in families. In general, epilepsy occurs in about 0.5 to 1 percent of the population. In families with epilepsy, it can be much higher, but still each child will probably not have seizures.

Seizures can pass in different ways. Some are recessive and some are dominant while some are multifactorial. A neurologist or a geneticist could calculate the risk in a specific situation, but just because you have seizures doesn't mean your child will.


The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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