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- What is West syndrome?
- Who gets West syndrome?
- What are the signs and symptoms of West syndrome?
- What causes West syndrome?
- Is there a test to diagnose West syndrome?
- What is the treatment for West syndrome? Is there a cure?
- What is the prognosis and life expectancy for West syndrome?
- What are other names for West syndrome?
What is West syndrome?
West syndrome, also known as infantile spasm, is a very uncommon epileptic seizure disease that was first described by Dr. W. West (in 1841) in his own son.
Who gets West syndrome?
West Syndrome is an age related disease in infants. Symptoms of the syndrome appear between 3 and 12 months of age, usually occurring at the fifth month.
What are the signs and symptoms of West syndrome?
The following conditions are symptoms of West syndrome:
What causes West syndrome?
Any type of brain damage can cause West syndrome, for example:
- Severe brain injury at birth
- Brain malformations
- Metabolic disease
- Chromosome abnormalities
- Tuberous sclerosis (a genetic condition)
Cryptogenic West syndrome is the term used when the cause of the syndrome cannot be identified.
What is the treatment for West syndrome? Is there a cure?
Since there are so many potential causes of West syndrome, treatment is based on the cause. There is no cure for West syndrome, so unfortunately, the only treatment is to reduce symptoms.
West syndrome treatments usually include a course of prednisolone and/or an anti-epileptic medication. In a few individuals, surgery in the brain may help reduce symptoms.
What is the prognosis and life expectancy for West syndrome?
Due to the various causes of West syndrome, each individual will have a somewhat different prognosis. However, children that can become free of attacks with appropriate medication (about 50% of all individuals with West syndrome) have a fair prognosis.
Individuals that do not have EEG abnormalities and show early response to treatment have a better prognosis. Unfortunately, up to about 90% of all children with West syndrome still suffer severe cognitive and physical impairments.
Life expectancy for West syndrome is variable. About five in every 100 infants and children with West syndrome do not survive beyond five years of age. A study of 214 Finnish children over 25 years of age showed about 61% dying at or before age 10 years.
What are other names for West syndrome?
West syndrome has had many different names, including:
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Glauser, Tracy A., MD. Infantile Spasm (West Syndrome). Medscape. Updated: Oct 16, 2014.
NORD. West Syndrome. Updated 2015.
Syndrome. West Syndrome.
West Syndrome - Experience
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West Syndrome - Symptoms
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West Syndrome - Cause
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West Syndrome - Treatment
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Top West Syndrome Related Articles
Brain Damage: Symptoms, Causes, TreatmentBrain damage causes destruction or deterioration of brain cells. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI) are two kinds of brain damage. Symptoms may include headaches, confusion, memory problems, nausea, and more. Treatment includes patient stabilization and ensuring that blood and oxygen are flowing to the brain. Adequate blood pressure control is also necessary. In cases of severe brain damage, surgery and rehabilitation may be required.
EEG - ElectroencephalogramAn Electroencephalogram also called an EEG, is a test that can help diagnose epilepsy. The electrical signals of the brain are recorded during an EEG. This electrical activity is detected by electrodes or sensors, placed on the patient's scalp and transmitted to a polygraph that records the activity. Electrical signals produced by the brain neurons are picked up by the electrodes and transmitted to a polygraph, where they produce separate graphs on moving paper using an ink writing pen or on a computer screen.
Seizures QuizDo you know the difference between seizures and epilepsy? What are the types of seizures? Take the Epilepsy & Seizures Quiz to test your knowledge and learn about this complex disorder of the brain.
prednisolonePrednisolone (Flo-Pred, Pediapred, Orapred, Orapred ODT) is a corticosteroid prescribed to achieve prompt suppression of inflammation due to inflammatory and allergic conditions (for example, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, hay fever, types of dermatitis, and many others. Side effects, drug interactions, dosage, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Prednisone vs PrednisolonePrednisone and prednisolone are synthetic corticosteroids used for suppressing the immune system and inflammation. Both drugs are used to treat inflammation in many conditions including:
- skin problems, and
SeizureEpilepsy is a brain disorder in which the person has seizures. There are two kinds of seizures, focal and generalized. There are many causes of epilepsy. Treatment of epilepsy (seizures) depends upon the cause and type of seizures experienced.
Seizure vs Seizure Disorders Whats the difference
The differences between a seizure, epilepsy, and seizure disorders are confusing to many people. What makes it more confusing, is that they are not the same thing. A seizure begins suddenly, and is a symptom of another disease. When a seizure occurs there is uncontrolled activity in the brain that usually only lasts for a short period. While a seizure disorder is a medical condition, in which the person has episodes of uncontrolled activity in the brain producing symptoms that include one or more seizures. Epilepsy is considered a seizure disorder.
There are two types of major seizures, generalized and partial seizure type and the symptoms depend upon the part of the brain affected, and may include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Thought disturbances
- Eye rolling
- Stiff limbs
- Twitching on only one side or a portion of the body like an arm or leg.
- Involuntary urination or bowel movement
- Repetitive shaking or jerking of the body
- Staring into space, sometimes with eye blinking
- No loss of consciousness, but the person becomes confused for a few minutes
A third type of seizure is called unclassified seizure.
Seizure disorders are classified under two types of major seizures (generalized and partial), and a third type called unclassified seizures. There are about 40 types of named seizure disorders. The symptoms and signs are different depending on the part of the brain affected by the seizure. Examples of seizure disorders are:
- Febrile seizures
- Benign Rolandic epilepsy
- Catamenial epilepsy
- Absence seizures
- Frontal lobe epilepsy
Sometimes there is a known cause for a seizure like alcohol, cocaine or other illegal drug abuse, drug reactions, a severe chemical imbalance in the blood, or medical problems like low blood pressure. Treatment, management, and prevention of seizures include medication and avoiding any known causes or common triggers.
CDC. "Types of Seizures." Updated: Apr 10, 2017.
Harvard Health Publications; Harvard Medical School. "Generalized Seizures (Grand Mal Seizures)."
Seizures Symptoms and TypesSeizures are divided into two categories: generalized and partial. Generalized seizures are produced by electrical impulses from throughout the brain, while partial seizures are produced by electrical impulses in a small part of the brain. Seizure symptoms include unconsciousness, convulsions, and muscle rigidity.