Preventing Epilepsy

Key points

  • Certain injuries, infections, and conditions can cause epilepsy.
  • You can prevent some types of epilepsy by lowering your chances of getting those injuries, infections, and other conditions.
Young boy wears a bike helmet.

Prevention strategies

Prevent traumatic brain injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussion can cause epilepsy.

Tips for preventing TBI and concussion:

Baby asleep in a car seat.
Prevent brain injury by making sure children are sitting in properly installed car or booster seats.

Lower your risk of stroke

Stroke can cause epilepsy. You can lower your chances of stroke by making healthy lifestyle choices:

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Be physically active.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.A
  • Learn to manage your stress.

Prevent cysticercosis infection

The most common cause of epilepsy globally is cysticercosis, a parasitic infection caused by the eggs of a tapeworm. The infection can occur when eggs are swallowed after a person eats something that has tapeworm eggs on it. Once in the body, the eggs hatch and can move into tissues, forming cysts in the brain, muscles, or other tissues. When the cysts are in the brain, this is called neurocysticercosis, which causes epilepsy.

Wash your hands and prepare food safely

  • Wash hands regularly and practice good hygiene.
  • Prepare food safely.
  • Drink clean water. This means drink treated water, bottled water, or boiled water when traveling abroad.

Health screening and early treatment of cysticercosis can prevent epilepsy.

Get vaccinated

Protect yourself and your family from infections that could cause seizures and lead to epilepsy by getting recommended vaccines and immunizations.

Stay healthy during pregnancy

Some problems during pregnancy and childbirth can lead to epilepsy. Follow a prenatal care plan with your health care provider to keep you and your baby healthy.

  1. For adults who choose to drink alcohol, men should have no more than two drinks in a day and women should have no more than one drink in a day.