Skip Navigation
Search Menu
Print This Page
Share this page: More

Atonic Seizures (Drop Attacks)

Unlike myoclonic seizures (which cause muscles to tense), atonic seizures cause the muscles to go limp. The patient’s body may slump or crumple to the ground, possibly causing injury.

The areas of the brain stem responsible for increasing and decreasing muscle tone are close together, which means atonic and myoclonic seizures probably begin in the same place. Patients experiencing sudden dramatic changes in muscle tone will often suffer from either or both types of seizures.

Atonic seizures may be indicative of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

Treatment of atonic seizures

There is no one treatment method for any patient with a seizure disorder. Each treatment plan is tailored to the individual patient based on their diagnosis and symptoms. Treatment options may include medical therapy, nerve stimulation, dietary therapy, or surgery, as appropriate. Clinical trials may also be a valuable treatment alternative.

Request an appointment

For more information about atonic seizures or to meet with our doctors, request an appointment at the Epilepsy Center.


Scheduled for Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins?

Watch the patient experience video before you come

ONLINE SEMINAR: Epilepsy Surgery: Putting the Puzzle Together

Did you miss the online discussion with neurosurgeon William Anderson on epilepsy surgery? Dr. Anderson discusses treatment option for epilepsy and recent surgical advances that may offer help where medical management and medications have not.

Watch the recording here.

Out-of-State and International Patients - Find Out More