Epilepsy can have a genetic component to it. We can see this because sometimes it can run in families. Sometimes, genetic mutations happen randomly with one person in the family and then get passed on. In any case, what happens with the mutation is that something goes wrong in the brain’s ion channels. These channels are what actually control the electrical activity in individual nerve cells. When that activity is abnormally increased, it can lead to millions of nerve cells firing or discharging in unison, causing a seizure.