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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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Understanding Temporal Lobe Seizure -- Diagnosis and Treatment

If someone has a seizure for the first time, if a seizure lasts longer than two to three minutes, or if multiple seizures occur one after the other, take him or her to the emergency room or call 911 immediately. If a seizure disorder is suspected, the doctor will begin by taking a thorough medical history, including any birth trauma, serious head injury, or infections of the brain, such as encephalitis or meningitis. Brain function can be "viewed" with an electroencephalogram, or EEG, which detects...

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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.

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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