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NINDS Todd's Paralysis Information Page

Synonym(s):   Epileptic Hemiplegia

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What is Todd's Paralysis?

Todd's paralysis is a neurological condition experienced by individuals with epilepsy, in which a seizure is followed by a brief period of temporary paralysis. The paralysis may be partial or complete but usually occurs on just one side of the body. The paralysis can last from half an hour to 36 hours, with an average of 15 hours, at which point it resolves completely. Todd's paralysis may also affect speech and vision. Scientists don't know what causes Todd's paralysis. Current theories propose biological processes in the brain that involve a slow down in either the energy output of neurons or in the motor centers of the brain. It is important to distinguish Todd's paralysis from a stroke, which it can resemble, because a stroke requires completely different treatment.

Is there any treatment?

There is no treatment for Todd's paralysis. Individuals must rest as comfortably as possible until the paralysis disappears.

What is the prognosis?

Todd's paralysis is an indication that an individual has had an epileptic seizure. The outcome depends on the effects of the seizure and the subsequent treatment of the epilepsy.

What research is being done?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts research related to Todd's paralysis in its clinics and laboratories at The National Institutes of Health (NIH), and supports additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. Much of this research focuses on finding successful methods to prevent Todd's paralysis in individuals with epilepsy.

NIH Patient Recruitment for Todd's Paralysis Clinical Trials

Organizations

Column1 Column2
Epilepsy Foundation
8301 Professional Place
Landover, MD   20785-7223
postmaster@efa.org
http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org
Tel: 301-459-3700 800-EFA-1000 (332-1000)
Fax: 301-577-2684

 


Prepared by:
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892



NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient's medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Last updated September 29, 2011