Atonic crisis: symptoms, causes and treatments

Atonic seizures are a type of seizure that involves a sudden loss of muscle tone. They usually cause a person to become limp and fall to the ground.

During an atonic seizure, the regular electrical activity of the brain is disturbed, which means that the person has a temporary inability to move or speak and loses muscle strength. The seizure can start in part of the brain or in the whole brain. These types of seizures usually first occur in childhood and can extend into adulthood.

Although there is no cure for atonic seizures, there are treatments that help manage symptoms. People may also be able to prevent certain seizures by identifying and avoiding triggers.

In this article, we take a more in-depth look at atonic seizures, including the causes and potential treatments. We also explain when a person should see a doctor.

A sluggish crisis is a type of crisis. A seizure occurs as a result of a period of uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. This can cause muscle problems, strange behaviors, unusual sensations and an altered state of consciousness.

Different types of seizures cause different symptoms. An atonic seizure causes the muscles to lose all their normal tension. As a result, the person suddenly becomes limp and may remain in this state for about 15 seconds.

Doctors may also refer to these episodes as falling fits or falling fits because sometimes the person can fall to the ground without warning.

The atonic seizure can affect the whole body or only certain parts, such as the eyelids or the head.

Symptoms of an atonic seizure in adults include:

  • fall to the ground
  • part or all of the body becomes limp
  • drop things

Symptoms of an atonic seizure in children include:

  • get soft and fall
  • sudden loss of muscle tone
  • briefly lose consciousness
  • droopy eyelids
  • nodding
  • jerking

After a seizure, the person may return to their normal alert state and recover quickly, or they may feel confused about what has happened and appear disoriented.

In some cases, a person can sustain an injury as a result of a fall. They will likely be able to treat any bruises, cuts, or other minor injuries at home, but if they have a serious injury, they should see a doctor immediately. Adults and children who fall frequently may need to consider wearing a helmet and other forms of protection.

There is two types atonic seizures: focal and generalized. Focal seizures affect a small area of ​​the brain and may only lead to muscle weakness in one area of ​​the body.

Conversely, generalized seizures can start in both halves of the brain, affecting a larger proportion of the body. When an atonic seizure involves the whole brain, doctors call it a generalized atonic seizure. These seizures begin with a sudden fall of the head, trunk, or whole body.

Atonic seizures are more common in children. Although they can sometimes last until a person’s adulthood, many children get past them.

Sometimes atonic seizures are related to Lennox-Gastout syndrome, which is a severe form of childhood epilepsy that causes frequent and multiple seizures. Children living with Lennox-Gastout syndrome often also have developmental and behavioral problems.

Multiple factors, including rapid breathing and flickering lights, can trigger seizures in people with this form of epilepsy.

Doctors must use a variety of tests to diagnose atonic seizures. One of the The most important tools for diagnosing these seizures is to have an observer who can describe or record what they have seen.

the standard test that doctors use to diagnose epilepsy is an electroencephalogram (EEG), in which they attach electrodes to a person’s scalp to record electrical activity in the brain. An EEG can reveal if there is unusual activity. The patterns seen by doctors can indicate the type or types of seizures a person is having.

If doctors are unable to successfully diagnose atonic seizures from an observer’s information and EEG results, they may need to perform other tests to check for changes in blood pressure or heart rate. .

Doctors may use CT scans and MRIs to determine the location of the seizure. These tests help rule out other potential causes of seizures, such as a stroke.

Medicine is the most common first-line treatment for seizures because it successfully controls seizures for about 70% people living with epilepsy.

Various drugs can treat atonic seizures, although they may not be helpful for everyone. Options for preventing or stopping seizures include anti-epileptic drugs, which some may call anti-epileptic drugs. It may take some trial and error to find the best amount of medicine and dosage.

If the drugs are ineffective in reducing the frequency or duration of attacks, a person will need to try other treatment options. Among these is vagus nerve stimulation, which uses a small device implanted in the chest to send regular electrical impulses through the vagus nerve to the brain. The person cannot feel this stimulation. Combining this treatment with anti-seizure drugs is often very effective.

People may also find the diet therapies beneficial. A Ketogenic Diet Is A Treatment Option Doctors Are Using most of the time in people who do not respond to medications. Other possible diet modifications include the modified Atkins diet and a low glycemic index diet. It is important to only adopt a diet that a doctor, dietitian or nurse has prescribed, as these professionals can ensure that a person is always receiving the necessary nutrition.

Brain surgery may be another treatment option for some people. Doctors can recommend surgery for uncontrolled atonic seizures if the seizure remains in a focal area of ​​the brain. Surgery removes the focus of the seizure, which usually stops the seizures. Because the procedure removes the part of the brain from which the seizures originate, it is not an effective treatment for those with atonic seizures that spread throughout the brain.

Some people may need to wear a helmet in addition to their treatment to protect their head if they fall frequently during their seizures. The protection offered by the helmet will help prevent brain damage.

Family and friends may find it difficult to intervene if they witness a sluggish crisis, as it usually happens without warning. Observers often do not need to provide first aid for this type of seizure other than staying with the person until they are fully conscious.

However, an observer can help the person having a seizure by:

  • put the person on their side to help clear the airways, if they have fallen to the ground
  • placing a folded clothing or other soft item under the person’s head
  • ask anyone else nearby to keep a safe distance
  • note the time at the start of the entry
  • search for a medical bracelet or emergency information
  • keep any hard or sharp object away from the person
  • refrain from keeping the person on the ground
  • make sure there are no objects in the person’s mouth

People who have atonic seizures may have a single seizure or several consecutive seizures. If a person tends to have more than one seizure, anyone supporting them should help them stay safe until they have no more seizures.

If the person has sustained an injury from a fall, they may need medical attention afterwards.

When a person has a seizure for the first time, they should make an appointment with a doctor. The doctor can determine the type of seizure and which treatment option is best.

If the person has two or more seizures that appear to have no cause, a doctor may diagnose them with epilepsy. Once a person has a confirmed diagnosis of epilepsy, they should see a doctor if they have:

  • a seizure that lasted more than 5 minutes
  • repeated seizures for 30 minutes or more
  • remain unconscious after the seizure is over
  • breathing that remains abnormal after the seizure

These signs may indicate status epilepticus, which is a life-threatening medical emergency.

People with epilepsy should also see their doctor if they have a high fever or heat exhaustion or if they are also living with diabetes.

Anyone whose epileptic symptoms seem to be getting worse should tell their doctor. They may need to increase their dose of medicine, change medicine, add a new medicine, or try a new method of treatment. Their doctor will be able to recommend the best course of action, depending on the situation.

Atonic seizures, also known as gout attacks, cause loss of muscle tone in an individual. When a person has one of these seizures, their head may fall, they may drop other objects, or they may fall to the ground. Atonic seizures are common in children, which can overtake them over time.

Doctors can diagnose atonic seizures based on testimonials, EEG readings, or CT and MRI scans. Medication is the most common treatment, but ketogenic diets, vagus nerve stimulation, and surgery are other options.

Anyone around someone who is having a sluggish seizure should check for any injuries after they regain consciousness and take them to a doctor if necessary.


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