Seizure Types: Atonic Seizures

There are many seizure types and in my experience with regards to physical injury, Atonic Seizures are very dangerous. Out of all the seizures Thomas has had these are the seizures which have caused him to injure himself, and end up in hospital on numerous occasions. Tom has to wear a padded epilepsy helmet to help protect his head.

What are Atonic Seizures?

Atonic Seizures (also known as drop seizures or drop attacks) are one of the generalised seizure types found in Generalised Epilepsy.  In an atonic seizure, muscles suddenly lose strength or tension. The eyelids may droop, the head may nod, and the person may drop things and often falls to the ground. The seizure it’s self doesn’t cause any damage, but the injury caused by these seizures can.

In Thomas’ case he usually crashes to the ground causing injury, he has to wear a seizure helmet to protect himself from serious injury. He has spoken about his epilepsy helmet on one of my other posts.

How long do they last?

Atonic seizures don’t last very long, they generally last a few seconds, unlike other seizure types like Tonic Clonic seizures. Usually the person having the seizure will remain conscious.

Who gets them?

Atonic seizures can effect anybody of any age, but are most common in children.

Why are they dangerous?

This seizure type in my opinion is one of the most dangerous, there are dangers most people don’t even consider. Thomas for example has split his chin open 6 or 7 times following an Atonic Seizure, he drops straight to the floor hitting his chin on tables, toilets, window ledges etc…

Other dangers of Atonic seizures include:

  • Going up and down stairs.
  • Riding bikes/trikes (all children like bikes don’t they)
  • Standing over hard objects such as tables, window ledges.
  • Going to the toilet (falling off the toilet hitting your head).
  • Concrete!!! Thomas has injured himself many times just crashing to the floor on concrete.



You get the idea, there are many many more dangers… (if you can think of any please feel free to add tot he comments at the bottom.)

How to help protect yourself from injury.

Most common are the Seizure Helmets or Epilepsy Helmets, there are many types available, examples as follows.

Epilepsy Helmet Side View

Seizure Helmet With Face Guard

Seizure Helmet For Atonic Seizures

Atonic Seizure Helmet

Tom Old Epilepsy Helmet

Atonic Seizure Example.

This is your typical “drop”, where this girls head drops forwards, if she were standing she would likely have dropped to the floor.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsip–lR0bI

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2 Responses to “ Seizure Types: Atonic Seizures ”

  1. [...] the internet regarding epilepsy helmets & epilepsy protective headgear for sufferers of “Atonic Seizures“. Thomas has to wear a “Scrum” type epilepsy helmet (also called seizure helmet) [...]

  2. [...] final general seizure type is “atonic seizures”. With atonic seizures people lose all muscle tone and often drop heavily to the floor. These [...]

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