When talking about seizures, we often talk about a postictal state – a period of altered consciousness or fatigue after seizure stops. I only recently made the connection between that term ictal and something I learned about back in high school marching band. Ictus refers to an inciting event and is often synonymous with the onset of a seizure. In music, the ictus is like a recurrent beat and in the case of conducting, I was taught that the ictus was the bottom of my arm strokes, which indicates the exact moment of the beat (can also think of it as the apex of the stroke). I’ve known both these terms, at least since I was in high school but didn’t realize the connection/ similarity until my attending said the word ictus in clinic the other day (usually when talking about seizures we always hear -ictal).

I don’t have a deep life-lesson or reflection to glean from this realization, I just thought it was interesting.


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