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Todd's paralysis, or Todd's paralysis, or Todd's paralysis, usually causes great anxiety - its symptoms are similar to those experienced in people who experience stroke. In practice, however, Todd's palsy is definitely harmless and it is usually a consequence of an epileptic seizure. However, what is the characteristic of this problem and do the people who develop it require any treatment?

Todd's paralysisotherwiseTodd's paralysisorTodd's paralysisTodd's paresis) are symptoms of hemiplegia that appear after an epileptic seizure, last from a few minutes to several hours, and then completely disappear by itself. Todd's paralysis was first described in 1849 by the Irish physiologist, Robert Bentley Todd, and it was his last name that gave the name of the problem.

Todd's paralysis: causes

The mere saying that the direct cause of Todd's paralysis is an epileptic seizure would be a definite understatement - well, it typically occurs after a seizure, but it does not occur in all people suffering from epilepsy. It is estimated that Todd's palsy occurs in up to 13% of all seizures. What, however, is the factor that leads directly to it - it is not known at present.

Among the hypotheses concerning the etiology of Todd's paralysis there are, inter alia, the one according to which this problem is a consequence of a slowdown in the overall bioelectrical activity of the brain, which may occur after an epileptic seizure (in this case, mention is made of a temporary "exhaustion" of the cerebral cortex). What is characteristic of this phenomenon is that it most often occurs after focal motor seizures involving one limb or one half of the body.

It is also worth mentioning here that Todd's paralysis is not only observed in people suffering from epilepsy - it sometimes develops in patients with head injuries.

Todd's paralysis: symptoms

As the name suggests, the symptom of Todd's paralysis is paralysis - it usually affects only one half of the body. The inability to move e.g. the limbs is the main, but not the only form of paralysisTodd - depending on which part of the brain is affected by disturbances in the electrical activity of the brain leading to an epileptic seizure, various ailments may appear in patients. For example, when abnormal discharges occur in the occipital lobe, patients may experience visual disturbances, and when the seizure occurs within the sensory cortex of the brain, patients may experience various types of sensory disturbances. There have also been reports of Todd's paralysis, in the course of which the patients experienced speech disorders.

The symptoms of Todd's paralysis may persist for various periods of time in patients - it typically ranges from 30 minutes to 36 hours, and the average time during which patients experience paralysis is 15 hours.

Todd's paralysis: diagnosis

Sudden onset of paralysis on one side is usually very worrying - after all, this type of problem is one of the basic problems associated with stroke. It is for this reason that a fairly large percentage of patients who develop Todd's palsy are diagnosed with suspected stroke. There is really no way to list here any symptoms that would differentiate between a stroke and Todd's paralysis - they could be essentially the same.

The most important thing in this case is the link between the paralysis and the experience immediately before the seizure - in general, it is this aspect that most suggests that the patient may have experienced Todd's palsy. The situation is not made easier by the fact that in the course of some strokes, in their acute phase, focal seizures occur in patients.

Usually, patients who actually develop Todd's palsy (especially those who have not previously been diagnosed with epilepsy) undergo full diagnostics for stroke - we are talking here about, for example, imaging tests of the head.

Todd's paralysis: treatment

There are no methods of treating Todd's paralysis, but most importantly, this problem does not require any therapy at all - the resulting paralysis is completely self-limiting, after some time, but it subsides.

Patients who develop this phenomenon are recommended only one thing - rest.

As mentioned at the very beginning, Todd's palsy is a consequence of seizures - in order to prevent it, epilepsy should be properly treated (the fewer seizures a patient experiences, the lower the risk of developing epilepsy. to paralyze Todd).

Todd's paralysis: prognosis

LikeTodd's paralysis can certainly be a cause of great anxiety, so the good news is that it has no sequelae of its own - patients who experience it do not have an increased risk of becoming disabled sooner or longer.

If patients have any permanent neurological deficits, they are a consequence of the seizure itself, not Todd's palsy.

About the authorBow. Tomasz NęckiA graduate of medicine at the Medical University of Poznań. An admirer of the Polish sea (most willingly strolling along its shores with headphones in his ears), cats and books. In working with patients, he focuses on always listening to them and spending as much time as they need.

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