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Todd's Paralysis

Todd's paralysis is a neurological condition characterized by a brief period of transient (temporary) paralysis following a seizure. The paralysis - which may be partial or complete - generally occurs on one side of the body and usually subsides completely within 48 hours. Todd's paralysis may also affect speech or vision. The cause is not known. Examination of an individual who is experiencing or who has just experienced Todd's paralysis may help physicians identify the origin of the seizure. It is important to distinguish the condition from a stroke, which requires different treatment.

Diagnosis of Todd's paralysis

Diagnosis of Todd's paralysis is crucial, because the symptoms can closely resemble those of a stroke (injury to the brain due to oxygen deprivation after bleeding or a blockage of an artery). It is important to distinguish between Todd's paralysis and a stroke, because the treatments are quite different.

Generally, Todd's paralysis can be easily diagnosed when it occurs in the aftermath of a documented seizure. The quick resolution of symptoms is another clue pointing to Todd's paralysis. When the diagnosis is unclear, however, tests may be run, including an electroencephalogram or EEG (a test that records information about the brain's electrical activity) or MRI . In the case of a seizure, the EEG may be abnormal; in the event of a stroke, the MRI may show an area of damage.

Is there any treatment for Todd's paralysis

Treatment of Todd's paralysis is symptomatic and supportive because the paralysis disappears quickly.

What is the prognosis for Todd's paralysis

An occurrence of Todd's paralysis indicates that a seizure has occurred. The prognosis for the patient depends upon the effects of the seizure, not the occurrence of the paralysis.

What research is being done concerning Todd's paralysis

The NINDS supports research on intractable epilepsy and various forms of paralysis such as Todd's paralysis. The research focuses on increasing knowledge of these conditions, and finding ways to prevent and treat them.


This web site is intended for your own informational purposes only. No person or entity associated with this web site purports to be engaging in the practice of medicine through this medium. The information you receive is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have an illness or medical problem, contact your health care provider.


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