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Atonic seizures (also called drop seizures, drop attacks, or akinetic seizures), are a minor type of seizure. They consist of a brief lapse in muscle tone that are caused by temporary alterations in brain function. The seizures are brief - usually less than fifteen seconds. They begin in childhood and may persist into adulthood. The seizure itself causes no damage, but the loss of muscle control can result in indirect damage from falling. Electroencephalography can be used to confirm diagnosis. It is minor and relatively common, and can be indicative of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (see Henri Gastaut).
Atonic seizures can occur standing, walking or sitting, and are often noticeable by a head drop (the neck muscles releasing) and damage sometimes results from hitting the face or head. For the actual seizure, as with common epileptic occurrences, no first aid is needed, except in the instances where falling injuries have occurred. In some cases a person may become temporarily paralyzed in part of their body. This usually doesn't last longer than 3 minutes.
- Information about Atonic Seizures from Epilepsy Foundation
- Atonic Seizures : Epilepsy.com
- Epilepsy Ontario :: Seizure Types :: Atonic Seizures
Seizures and epilepsy (G40–G41, 345)
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