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Infantile Spasms

 

 A seizure disorder of infancy and early childhood with the onset predominantly in the first year of life of Myoclonic Seizures, Hypsarrhythmia (abnormal, chaotic electroencephalogram), and Mental Retardation.

 

The spasms usually involve the muscles of the neck, trunk, and extremities. Each seizure lasts only a second or two but usually in a series. Most common just after waking up and rarely occur during sleep. They typically begin between 3 and 8 months of age. Almost all infantile spasms start by 12 months of age and usually stop by 4 years old.

 

An Infantile Spasm (IS) is a specific type of seizure seen in an epilepsy syndrome of infancy and childhood known as West Syndrome. West Syndrome is characterized by infantile spasms, developmental regression, and a specific pattern on electroencephalography (EEG) testing called Hypsarrhythmia (chaotic brain waves). Hypsarrhythmia is an abnormal interictal pattern, consisting of high amplitude and irregular waves and spikes in a background of chaotic and disorganized activity seen on Electroencephalogram (EEG), and frequently encountered in an infant diagnosed with infantile spasms, although it can be found in other conditions.

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