Epilepsy has many causes, both inherited and acquired. The mechanisms by which the normal brain becomes epileptic are quite diverse, ranging from the neural circuit level, to the synapse and neuronal membrane, to cascades of cellular energy production and utilization. All of these mechanisms vary over different stages of brain development. Rational treatment of epilepsy, whether with anticonvulsant medications, surgical interventions, or the ketogenic diet, requires an understanding of the age-specific physiological features that govern neuronal function.

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