drop attack


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drop at·tack

1. sudden fall without precipitant or associated symptoms or signs, generally in old people with normal electroencephalograms; of unknown cause;
2. atonic seizure.
An episodic and precipitous loss of motor function, in which the victim is either standing or walking, and abruptly plummets, fully conscious to the floor, as the legs give way
Aetiology Idiopathic—most common in older women and attributed to age-related defects in reflexes; drop attacks also occur in vertibrobasilar ischaemia, acute labyrinthine vertigo, cataplexy, and ‘plateau waves’, and may be associated with loss of consciousness in syncope and seizures

drop attack

Neurology An episodic and precipitous loss of motor function, where the victim is either standing or walking, and abruptly plummets, fully conscious to the floor, as the legs give way; idiopathic DAs are most common in older ♀, and attributed to age-related defects in reflexes; DAs may also occur in vertibrobasilar ischemia, acute labyrinthine vertigo, cataplexy, 'plateau waves'; DAs with loss of consciousness occur in syncope and seizures

drop at·tack

(drop ă-tak')
An episode of sudden falling that occurs during standing or walking, without warning and without loss of consciousness. The patients are usually elderly and have normal findings on electroencephalograms.

drop attack

A tendency to fall suddenly, without warning, and without loss of consciousness. Drop attacks may be due to a temporary shortage of blood to the brain and should be investigated.
References in periodicals archive ?
In children and younger adults, drop attacks have been reported to be a manifestation of seizure disorders.[7-10] A specific syndrome, which has been described in middle-aged women, seems to be hereditary to some degree and of unknown etiology.[11-14] A variety of other causative factors have been reported, including medications (eg, clozapine),[15] muscular dystrophy,[16] colloid cysts,[17] aneurysms and other masses in the third ventricle or posterior fossa,[18] congenital cardiac lesions,[19] Parkinson's disease,[20] Meniere's disease,[21,22] and hypothyroidism.[23] Some elderly patients who experience drop attacks may simply have weak quadriceps muscles that "give out" suddenly after extended use.
Because of the prevalence of cerebrovascular disease and the reported association of drop attacks with neck hyperextension and with abnormalities of the brain stem, vertebrobasilar insufficiency is generally considered to be a common cause of true drop attacks in the elderly.[24] Drop attacks have been reported to occur in up to 25% of patients with symptomatic vertebrobasilar insufficiency.[25] In such cases, the pathophysiologic mechanisms may include mechanical obstruction (kinking) of the vertebrobasilar arteries,[26] sudden systemic hypotension (caused by arrhythmia, for example), embolization, or spasm.
The patient was placed on phenytoin, and the frequency of the drop attacks abated.
After she was accepted in a residential setting, she began to experience disabling drop attacks, causing her to wear a helmet.
After 3 years of conservative medical therapy (a low-salt diet and a diuretic), the patient returned with worsening vertigo and drop attacks. Findings on electronystagmography were normal.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled pivotal study of patients with LGS treated with BANZEL as adjunctive therapy showed a 42.5 percent median reduction in frequency of drop attacks, seizures that cause a person to lose consciousness and fall to the ground, compared with a 1.4 percent median increase for placebo-treated patients.
Other seizures may present with brief jerks of arms and legs, known as myoclonic seizures, or a sudden loss of body tone, known as atonic seizures or drop attacks. Keeping the child safe during these types of seizures may involve padding furniture and other objects in the environment and/or having the child wear a helmet in the case of atonic seizures.
Then complex seizures and drop attacks stopped occurring.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which typically begins between 1 and 6 years of age, has mixed seizures, including convulsions, myoclonic seizures in which muscles jerk uncontrollably, and drop attacks (atonic seizures) where the child suddenly falls forward with force.