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Infantile spasms is a rare type of seizure disorder that occurs in infants between the ages of 4 and 6 months.
The seizures usually occur when the infant awakening or trying to fall asleep. The infant typically has brief periods of spasms of the neck, trunk or legs that last for a few seconds. Infants may have clusters of seizures with up to hundreds per a day, which can be a serious problem and cause long-term complications. Infants typically have normal development prior to onset of seizures.
About three-fourths of infants with infantile spasms have underlying brain abnormalities. The physician will order a variety of tests, such as EEG, CT, and/or MRI brain imaging. The EEG will show hypsarrhythmia, which is a chaotic pattern between seizures. CT or MRI neuroimaging will test for signs of tuberous sclerosis, a brain infection or structural abnormality.
In some infants, spasms will stop spontaneously without any treatment. But most will require anti-epileptic drugs such as Sabril® (vigabatrin), adrenocorticotropic hormone, or ACTH® (corticotrophin), or prednisone, to control the seizures. Infantile spasms caused by tuberous sclerosis respond well to Sabril®.
A ketogenic diet may also control or reduce seizures in some infants.
Drug information changes periodically. For the most updated information on drugs, visit www.drugs.com.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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