Etiology

A. The cause of seizures may be described as either idiopathic, acute symptomatic, or remote symptomatic. Acute symptomatic seizures occur within three months of an active process such as a central nervous system infection, vascular disease, neoplasm, metabolic encephalopathy, toxin, drugs, eclampsia or trauma. Remote symptomatic seizures occur as a result of acquired brain injuries, such as congenital CNS disorders, asphyxia, hypoxia or ischemic events, cerebrovascular disease, resolved CNS infection, stroke, trauma, inborn errors of metabolism, or Alzheimer's or Pick's disease.

B. The majority of seizures are classified as partial or secondarily generalized, and the etiology of the majority of seizures is idiopathic.

C. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection may cause new-onset seizures. In patients with a seizure and risk factors for HIV infection, 8.2% may be infected with HIV.

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