An inquiring mind must return again and again to the problem of origin or cause…. physicians have dug away at diverse etiologic theories or facts; physical or psychic; general or individual; genetic or acquired; fundamental or contributory. When a crime is committed, everyone in the vicinity is suspect. William Lennox, Epilepsy and Related Conditions, 1960 Thus Lennox opened his chapter on “The diverse sources of seizures,” and indeed he devoted a great many pages of his famous book to the question of etiology. Yet, 50 years later, causation is an aspect of epilepsy now somewhat neglected in the scientific literature on epilepsy, in the classification of epilepsy, and in the conceptualization of epilepsy at a clinical and experimental level. It was to go some way to remedying this deficiency that this book was conceived. Kinnier Wilson in 1940 wrote that the listing of all causes of epilepsy would be an act of supererogation, but the editors of this book beg to differ. This is the first book ever published, as far as we know, which is devoted to the topic of causation in epilepsy, and we have attempted within its 800 pages to catalog the known causes of epilepsy, and corral these into a single tome.
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