Todd’s paralysis, also known as Epileptic Hemiplegia, is a neurological condition experienced by individuals with epilepsy, in which a seizure is followed by a brief period of temporary paralysis.
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.
Todd’s paralysis may occur in up to 13% of seizure cases. It is most common after generalised tonic-clonic seizures. 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.
It is important to distinguish Todd’s paralysis from a stroke, which it can resemble, because a stroke requires completely different treatment.
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.
There is no treatment for Todd’s paralysis. Individuals must rest as comfortably as possible until the paralysis disappears.