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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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Frequency and Pathophysiology of Post-Seizure Todd’s Paralysis

Sui-Yi Xu, Ze-Xing Li, Xiao-Wei Wu, Ling Li, Chang-Xin Li

(Department of Neurology, The First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e920751

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.920751

ABSTRACT: Todd’s paralysis, a neurological abnormality characterized by temporary limb weakness or hemiplegia, typically occurs following a seizure, without enduring consequences. Since limb weakness or hemiplegia can also be a common symptom of an acute ischemic stroke, it is often difficult to diagnose Todd’s paralysis in individuals experiencing an acute ischemic stroke if they do not have a pre-existing history of epilepsy. Given that there is a limited understanding of Todd’s paralysis, this review discusses the history, prevalence, clinical manifestations, duration, etiology, and diagnosis of Todd’s paralysis. A few factors that may help clinicians distinguish Todd’s paralysis from other clinical indications are as follows: (1) Todd’s paralysis is commonly observed after partial seizures or generalized tonic-clonic seizures. (2) The incidence of Todd’s paralysis is greater if the epilepsy is associated with old age or stroke history. (3) The duration of Todd’s paralysis can range from minutes to days, depending on the type of seizure or whether the patient has experienced cortical structural damage. (4) The etiology of Todd’s paralysis is associated with cerebral perfusion abnormality after seizures. Further research is needed to explore factors that distinguish Todd’s paralysis from other indications that may lead to limb weakness in order to improve the diagnosis of Todd’s paralysis.

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