Department of Neurology

Is epilepsy contagious?

Q: Is epilepsy something you are born with or is it something that can be caught like the flu or inflicted upon another person?

Thank You for your time.

A: Although some epilepsies may be the result of inherited genes, epilepsy does not occur in all persons who have these genes. Most persons with epilepsy probably also have additional factors that causes their epilepsy. Epilepsy is not contagious. This is a myth that has been perpetrated over centuries and has caused unfair predjudice to persons with epilepsy. You simply cannot "catch" epilepsy from another person.

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