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Will my daughter suffer from epilepsy in future?

Q: My husband is having grandmal epilepsy and he is taking Eptoin (200mg) and multivitamin FM daily. Now his fits are under control. He has suffered from fits five times and it started when he was 30 years old. I have a two and a half years old daughter. Will my daughter suffer from epilepsy in future?

A:The chances of the child having epilepsy if the father has epilepsy will depend upon the cause of epilepsy in the father. If the cause is acquired like head injury, cysts, calcifications or structural abnormalities on the MRI scans, then your child is unlikely to be affected. However, certain epilepsies that start before 20 yrs of age, are generalised in nature, with typical EEG changes are more likely to affect members of the family. Some studies have shown that the risk of epilepsy in brothers, sisters and children of people with seizure disorders ranges from 4-8% (that is, between about 1 in 25 and about 1 in 12). A child whose mother has epilepsy has more chances of having epilepsy as compared to a case where the father has epilepsy. Although the risk is higher than in the general population, most people with epilepsy do not have any relatives with seizures, and the great majority of parents with epilepsy do not have children with epilepsy.

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