What is Todd's Paralysis?

Todd's paralysis is a focal weakness in a part of the body after a seizure. Usually it is on one side (left or right) of the body and can affect either the arms, legs or both. It almost always resolves after 48 hours. 

Betty Long, RN, MHA
Nursing Specialist

We were advocating on behalf of a daughter of an elderly woman who was experiencing left-sided weakness after having seizures following a surgery to revise her brain shunt. The daughter immediately assumed that her mom had suffered an intraoperative stroke. Tests, however, continued to show no stroke and doctors introduced the possibility that the patient was experiencing Todd's Paralysis. Not that many of us had heard of it or knew what it was

As it turned out, Todd's Paralysis is focal weakness in a part of the body after a seizure. This weakness typically affects appendages and is localized to either the left or right side of the body. It usually subsides completely within 48 hours. Todd's paresis may also affect speech, eye position (gaze) or vision. Treatment is typically supportive and aimed at reducing or eliminating the seizure activity through medication.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.