West syndrome is a rare condition that can be marked by subtle seizures in a baby. Seizures can have serious consequences if left unattended.

Infantile spasms can be described as short and sometimes subtle seizures that occur in babies. These seizures are actually a rare form of epilepsy.

Only about 2000 to 2500 children each year will receive a diagnosis of the disorder in the United States. These seizures or spasms generally occur before your child is 1 year old, with most babies experiencing them when they’re between 3 and 7 months old.

This condition is more detailed in this article.

An infantile spasm can consist of something as simple and slight as a head drop or nod. These spasms may be subtle and can appear in different ways. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, the spasms may consist of:

  • Your baby is stiffening.
  • Their arms were moving as their knees were pulling up.
  • Their legs are getting stronger and their head is thrown back.
  • Repeated movements such as crunching.

The spasms usually only last a couple of seconds but tend to occur close together in a series. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke finds that often your child will have multiple clusters of spasms at a time, and your child may have as many as hundreds of spasms throughout the day.

Infantile spasms also usually occur upon waking, unlike benign myoclonic seizures, which tend to occur in your baby as they fall asleep. Some organizations recommend taking a video of the events and showing them to a doctor or healthcare professional if you’re concerned that your child may be having spasms.

Infantile spasms are a type of brain abnormality that can occur before or after birth. There are known causes.

  • There are brain tumors.
  • There are genetic or chromosomal anomalies.
  • A birth injury.
  • A brain disease.
  • A problem with brain development while your baby is still in the womb.

The connection can cause chaotic brain wave activity, which can cause frequent spasms. The cause of the spasms in the rest of the children is unknown but may be related to a neurological problem.

If a doctor suspects infantile spasms, they’ll order an electroencephalogram (EEG), which is easy to obtain and usually useful for giving a diagnosis. If this test doesn’t have clear results, a doctor may order a test called a video EEG.

“With this test, doctors can see brain wave patterns with the help of the electrodes on your baby’s skull. A video shows your baby. A doctor who is a doctor who treats children with problems with their nervous system will watch their brain wave activity during and after your baby’s spasms.”

“These tests can be done in a doctor’s office, lab, or hospital. They may need to be repeated several times. Some children with spasms have disorganized brain wave activity. This is called modified hypsarrhythmia.”

If your child has received a diagnosis of infantile spasms, a doctor may also order other tests to see why the spasms are occurring. For example, an MRI can image their brain and show any abnormalities in its structure. Genetic testing can pinpoint genetic reasons contributing to their seizures.

If you think your baby is having spasms, you need to get medical help. If the disorder is left unaddressed, it can have serious consequences. Your child has a better chance of limiting those effects with early treatment.

Babies with infantile spasms frequently have mental and developmental problems. In research published in the Annals of Indian Academy Neurology, at 3 years after receiving their diagnosis, only 11.3 percent of the children studied were seizure free and developmentally neurotypical. Many had issues with:

  • eyesight
  • speech
  • Hearing
  • Writing skills are needed.
  • Fine and gross motor development.

Additionally, 74 percent of the children in the study displayed some traits of the autism spectrum.

Some children will not have any problems. 30 to 70% of children with the disorder will have normal development if there are no known health factors causing the seizures.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone is a medication used to treat infantile spasms. Your child is capable of producing the hormone ACTH. It has been shown to be very effective in stopping spasms.

Because it’s an extremely powerful drug that can cause dangerous side effects, it’s generally given in low doses for a short amount of time. More common side effects may include:

  • edema, or swelling from fluid retention
  • weight gain
  • “Is it possible that I’m Irrisponsible?”
  • Increased appetite.
  • Their blood has low levels of the mineral.
  • high blood sugar.

Rare but more serious side effects may include:

  • high blood pressure.
  • Mental status changes due to high blood pressure..
  • Appendicitis.
  • It is an infectious disease

Doctors sometimes use an anti-seizure medication called vigabatrin (Sabril) and steroid therapies, such as prednisone. Limitations of ACTH treatment, such as high costs, availability issues, and side effects, can sometimes make these alternative medications a better option. But both of these alternative drugs can also have significant side effects.

A recent 2021 study found that initial treatment success rates were similar for the three types of treatment:

  • The percentage is 46 percent.
  • Steroids in oral form: 44 percent.
  • vigabatrin is 37 percent.

After 30 days of initial therapy, a small percentage of children had no additional seizures. You and the doctor will have to decide on the best course of treatment for your baby.

When drug therapies fail to stop the spasms, some doctors may recommend other options. In some cases, surgery to remove the part of the brain causing the seizures may be recommended. A ketogenic diet has been studied to see if it could reduce some symptoms, though more research is needed to fully understand any potential benefits. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan.

Infantile spasms can have serious consequences. It can cause death in some children and cause intellectual disabilities in others. The brain effects can remain even if the seizures are managed.

Some people with this condition will live healthy lives. If the brain abnormality that is causing the seizures can be treated, no cause for the seizures can be identified, or the spasms can be managed, this is more likely to be true.

What can trigger infantile spasms?

Brain abnormality or injury that can occur before or after your child’s birth may cause infantile spasms. Causes can include There are brain tumors., birth injury, or problems with brain development while your baby is still in the womb.

Are infantile spasms serious?

Is it true that infantile spasms can be very serious? It is important that your child is treated quickly and effectively to maximize their potential.

Can infantile spasms go away?

Yes, infantile spasms usually stop before 2 to 4 years of age. But according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, most children with infantile spasms will develop other types of seizures.