Aparna V.R. Polavarapu, MD: Early Treatment for Infantile Spasms


The pediatric neurologist at Montefiore Health System explains the importance of treating infantile spasms as early as possible and how it may impact outcomes.

"Once we get a referral for infantile spasms, we get them into an EEG appointment very quickly. This is because delay in diagnosis and in treatment can affect outcomes.”

Infantile spasms—seizures that are characterized by a sudden stiffening of the body and brief bending forward or backward of the arms, legs, and head—can begin in children as early as 3 months of age and almost always dissipate by the age of 4. The vast majority of cases of infantile spasms start by 12 months of age, heightening the need for diagnosing and treating these patients as soon as possible.

There can be a multitude of long-term effects of infantile spasms, including severe developmental issues and the potential for their condition to turn into another form of epilepsy. On top of that, despite the likelihood of the seizures ending, patients with infantile spasms may be susceptible to refractory forms of epilepsy, which may require more additional treatment.

Aparna V.R. Polavarapu, MD, pediatric neurologist, Montefiore Health System, sat down with NeurologyLive to raise awareness and provide additional background on the importance of getting children with infantile spasms the care they need so they can begin their treatment regimen as early as possible.

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