Welcome to the Infantile Spasms Center Website

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Welcome to the Infantile Spasms Center Website. The goal of this website is to educate and inform parents and caregivers about infantile spasms (IS) and the options available to treat this rare and catastrophic disorder of childhood.

About Seizures in Babies

There are many different types of seizures and they can last anywhere from a few moments to more than half an hour. Infantile Spasms is a rare and serious seizure disorder that typically occurs in children before age two. IS is characterized by brief clusters of seizures and chaotic (messy) brain wave patterns called hypsarrhythmia (hips-a-rith-me-ya). In some cases, early diagnosis and immediate treatment can lead to improvement; in other cases, the disease can result in lifelong mental and nervous system disorders, and possibly death.

Babies with IS have brief spasms that usually occur when they wake up. In some cases these spasms can be very subtle and can be mistaken for colic or a startle reflex. Babies with IS often fail to reach developmental milestones.[1][2]

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Pediatric Epilepsy vs. Infantile Spasms: How can I find out?

Epilepsy represents the most common serious neurologic problem affecting children. Diagnosis is complicated by variable clinical manifestations which are age-dependent and differ substantially from adult seizure disorders. If you think your baby might have IS, talk to your pediatrician who may send you to see a pediatric neurologist—a doctor who specializes in treating babies with problems that affect the brain and nervous system. The diagnosis of IS can be confirmed with an exam called an electroencephalogram (EEG) that records brain activity. If IS is found, treatment can and should be started early. The sooner treatment is started, the greater the likelihood of a positive outcome.[1]

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What can be done to treat IS?

Your doctor can use a variety of medications, diets, and surgery to treat IS. The goal of treatment is to stop the spasms and improve the brain wave patterns called hypsarrhythmia that are linked to the seizures.

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Infantile Spasms Videos and Case Studies