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Epilepsy: Tonic Seizures - Topic Overview

Tonic seizures are fairly uncommon. They 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 atonic seizures.)

When a tonic seizure occurs, the muscles in the body contract and the entire body stiffens. This occurs suddenly and without warning. And it often causes the person to fall down.

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Seizures in Children

What happens inside your child's brain during a seizure? Here is a simplified explanation: Your brain is made up of millions of nerve cells called neurons, and these cells communicate with one another through tiny electrical impulses. A seizure occurs when a large number of the cells send out an electrical charge at the same time. This abnormal and intense wave of electricity overwhelms the brain and results in a seizure, which can cause muscle spasms, a loss of consciousness, strange behavior, or...

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

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 26, 2011
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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