Epileptic spasms digital illustration

Epileptic spasms Save

ICD-10 code: G40.82

Chapter: Diseases of the nervous system

Epileptic Spasms: A Short Guide

Epileptic spasms, also known as infantile spasms or West syndrome, is a rare and severe form of epilepsy that typically affects infants and young children. It is characterized by frequent seizures that often occur in clusters, and can cause developmental delays and cognitive impairment if left untreated.

If you suspect that your child is experiencing epileptic spasms, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to minimize the long-term effects of this condition and improve your child's quality of life.

  1. Symptoms of Epileptic Spasms: The most common symptom of epileptic spasms is the presence of frequent seizures, which often occur in clusters or groups. These seizures typically last for a few seconds to a few minutes, and can involve a variety of movements, including twitching, jerking, or stiffness of the arms, legs, or torso. In some cases, the seizures may cause the child to briefly lose consciousness or stop breathing.
  2. Causes of Epileptic Spasms: The exact cause of epileptic spasms is unknown, but it is thought to be related to abnormal brain development or brain damage. Some cases may be associated with genetic mutations or metabolic disorders.
  3. Diagnosis of Epileptic Spasms: Epileptic spasms can be difficult to diagnose, as they can be mistaken for other types of seizures or developmental delays. Your child's doctor may perform a variety of tests, including an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure brain activity, and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to look for signs of brain damage or developmental abnormalities.
  4. Treatment of Epileptic Spasms: Treatment for epileptic spasms typically involves a combination of medication and therapy. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) may be prescribed to help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures, while physical therapy and other supportive therapies can help to improve muscle tone and overall development. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove brain lesions or correct developmental abnormalities.
  5. Outlook for Epileptic Spasms: The outlook for children with epileptic spasms varies depending on the severity of the condition and the effectiveness of treatment. With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, many children are able to achieve developmental milestones and live relatively normal lives. However, some children may experience long-term cognitive or developmental delays.

If you suspect that your child is experiencing epileptic spasms, it is important to seek medical attention right away. With early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, you can help your child to achieve the best possible outcome.