Aparna V.R. Polavarapu, MD: Raising Awareness for Infantile Spasms


The pediatric neurologist at Montefiore Health System provided her thoughts on the importance of Infantile Spasms Awareness Week.

"I think parents should feel empowered to bring up any new events with their pediatricians… the awareness and quick treatment can then lead to improved outcomes.”

The first week of December is Infantile Spasms Awareness Week (ISAW), which is dedicated to raising awareness for the thousands of children who suffer from the debilitating disorder each year. These signature social events can help parents and caregivers of children with infantile spasms come together while also leading those who may be new to the disorder to resources or advocacy groups that can ease their process.

Infantile spasms, also known as West syndrome, is characterized by subtle seizures called “flexor spasms” or “jackknife seizures” due to their appearance. Aparna V.R. Polavarapu, MD, pediatric neurologist, Montefiore Health System, mentioned that raising awareness is crucial, particularly for the parents of these children because they can then take the proper steps in seeking clinical care and begin the treatment process as early as possible.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Polavarapu details some of the main reasons why it is necessary to raise awareness for infantile spasms, and whether it is underrepresented in comparison to other epilepsies.

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