Three different scenarios for epileptic spasms

Lucia Fusco, Domenico Serino, Marta Elena Santarone

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Epileptic Spasms (ES) is a type of seizure usually occurring in the context of a severe childhood epileptic syndrome associated to significant Electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities. There are three scenarios in which ES may occur. The first one is represented by West Syndrome (WS): ES occur in a previously non encephalopathic infant in association with the development of a hypsarrhythmic EEG pattern. In most cases, standard treatment with Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH), steroids or vigabatrin leads to a reversal of the electroclinical picture. The second scenario is represented by Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathies (DEEs): ES are documented, often along other seizures types, in an infant who often shows developmental delay since birth; the EEG pattern is pathological both in wakefulness and in sleep, without typical features of hypsarrhythmia; therapies (with the exception of few potentially treatable syndromes) are poorly effective. The last scenario is represented by ES in the context of Focal Epilepsies (FEs): ES, sometimes showing focal signs or closely related to focal seizures, are associated with focal brain lesions. Treatment with ACTH, steroids or vigabatrin may not be effective as well as antiepileptic drugs for focal epilepsies. In drug-resistant patients, surgery should be considered. Although there are some gaps in our current scientific knowledge concerning the peculiar electroclinical and physiopathological features of ES, we nowadays possess the necessary tools to correctly frame this unique seizure type into one of these scenarios and therefore properly manage the diagnostic and therapeutic workup.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107531
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Volume113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Developmental Epileptic Encephalopathy
  • Epilepsy Surgery
  • Epileptic Spasms
  • Infantile Spasms
  • West Syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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