Other Names for this Disease
- Infantile spasm
- X-linked infantile spasm syndrome
- X-linked infantile spasms
- West's syndrome
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seizure (infantile spasms) seen in infancy and childhood. This syndrome leads to developmental regression and causes a specific pattern, known as hypsarrhythmia (chaotic brain waves), on electroencephalography (EEG) testing. The infantile spasms usually begin in the first year of life, typically between 4-8 months. The seizures primarily consist of a sudden bending forward of the body with stiffening of the arms and legs; some children arch their backs as they extend their arms and legs. Spasms tend to occur upon awakening or after feeding, and often occur in clusters of up to 100 spasms at a time. Infants may have dozens of clusters and several hundred spasms per day. Infantile spasms usually stop by age five, but may be replaced by other types of seizures. Many underlying disorders, such as birth injury, metabolic disorders, and genetic disorders can lead to these spasms, making it important to identify the underlying cause. In some children, no cause can be found.West syndrome is characterized by a specific type of
Last updated: 3/28/2011
- National Institutes of Health. Infantile Spasms Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. February 22, 2011; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/infantilespasms/infantilespasms.htm. Accessed 3/21/2011.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
- Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss West syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.