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Clinical features of Todd's post-epileptic paralysis.
  1. L A Rolak,
  2. P Rutecki,
  3. T Ashizawa,
  4. Y Harati
  1. Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Texas.


    Two hundred and twenty nine patients with generalised tonic-clonic seizures were prospectively evaluated. Fourteen were identified who had transient focal neurological deficits thought to be Todd's post-epileptic paralysis (PEP). Eight of these 14 patients had underlying focal brain lesions associated with the postictal deficits. All patients with PEP were weak, but there was wide variation in the pattern (any combination of face, arm, leg), severity (plegia to mild), tone (spastic, flaccid, or normal), and reflexes (increased, decreased, or normal). Significant sensory loss occurred in only one patient. The only other signs of PEP were aphasia (in five patients all with underlying lesions) and gaze palsy (in four patients). Post-epileptic paralysis persisted from half an hour to 36 hours (mean of 15 hours). Post-epileptic paralysis may occur with the first seizure or after many years of seizures and does not appear after every seizure. The clinical features of PEP are thus heterogeneous.

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