Todd’s paralysis is experienced by some people with epilepsy. It happens after a seizure when it becomes impossible to move all or part of the body.

Epilepsy is a condition that causes electrical activity in the brain that can stop it working for a short time. The result is what is known as a seizure, convulsion, or fit.


There is no clear cause of Todd’s paralysis. Depending on the part of the brain that is affected, symptoms can include temporary problems with sight or speech, as well as loss of movement.

In rare cases, Todd’s paralysis affects people who do not have epilepsy, such as those who have had a head injury.

In this article, we find out more about the condition, its symptoms, and what might cause it.


What is Todd’s paralysis?



Todd’s paralysis commonly affects one hand, arm, or leg, but it may also affect the whole body.

Todd’s paralysis is also referred to as Todd’s paresis, Todd’s palsy, or postictal paresis. It is a neurological condition, meaning it relates to the brain and nerves.

Different parts of a person’s brain control different processes and activities in their body, such as speech or movement.

Most people who experience Todd’s paralysis have epilepsy, and symptoms occur immediately after a seizure. The brain takes time to recover from a seizure, and this can have an impact on the body.

Todd’s paralysis commonly affects one hand, arm, or leg, but the condition can affect the whole body. The effects can range from a weakness in one part of the body to a full loss of movement and sensation.

The condition can affect sight and speech. A person experiencing Todd’s paralysis may be unable to speak, or have slurred speech. They may be unable to see, experience blurred vision, or see flashing lights or colors.


Epileptic seizures have different stages:


  1.  An aura or warning, although all who have epilepsy will not experience this.

2.  The seizure itself, which is known as the ictal phase.

3.  Recovery from the seizure, known as the postictal phase.


Todd’s paralysis happens during the recovery phase, which is why it is sometimes known as postictal paralysis.

Some people will feel back to normal immediately after an epileptic seizure, while for others it can take minutes or hours to recover.

During the recovery time from a seizure, it is common for a person with epilepsy to have symptoms that can include confusion, tiredness, or dizziness.

Todd’s paralysis is a less common experience after a seizure. Depending on which part of the brain is recovering, different parts of the body will be affected by paralysis.

A person experiencing Todd’s paralysis will be unable to move part or all of their body. The condition usually only happens on one side of the body so can be confused with a stroke.

Paralysis can last between 30 minutes and 36 hours, after which feeling and movement will return completely. The average time for paralysis to last is 15 hours.


Source: Article by – C. Sissons for Medical News Today