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    Epilepsy: Atonic Seizures - Topic Overview

    An atonic seizure is a sudden loss of muscle tone in the muscles that hold the body and head upright.

    • The seizure occurs without warning and usually causes the person to fall down.
    • Some atonic seizures may be more limited, only causing the person's head to drop for a moment.

    Atonic seizures are fairly uncommon and occur mostly in people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. This is a severe form of generalized epilepsy that begins in early childhood. (Children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome may also have tonic seizures.)

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    Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures -- episodes of abnormal electrical activity in almost any part of the brain. The symptoms of a seizure can mimic different types of human behavior, depending on which part of the brain is affected. Generally, the term epilepsy (or seizure disorder) refers to relatively stereotyped attacks of involuntary behavior. The exact symptoms and severity may vary, and the seizures may occur infrequently or in rapid succession. While every...

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    People who have atonic or tonic seizures are likely to be injured when they fall. Children may have to wear helmets and restrict their activities to prevent serious injury.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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