Patient EducationJul | 4 | 2019
Infantile spasms are a type of seizure that can happen in children with Down syndrome between the ages of 5 and 10 months.
Spasms tend to occur in clusters, and several clusters can be seen in one day. Infantile spasms are most common after the infant wakes up in the morning or after a nap. Children can be seen bending over at the waist while having an infantile spasm, sometimes causing infantile spasms to be referred to as “jack-knife spasms.” Some signs include:
The diagnosis of infantile spasms is made by a neurologist. The neurologist listens closely to your story and examines your child. They will also perform an electroencephalogram (EEG). This measures the electrical activity of the brain. A certain brain wave called “hypsarrhythmia” may help diagnose infantile spasms.
If you can, try to record on video any episodes of infantile spasms, and bring the recordings to your doctor’s office. This will help your doctor to better diagnose your child.
If you suspect that your child has infantile spasms, bring your child to a pediatric neurologist for urgent evaluation There are many treatments available for infantile spasms. Some are more effective than others based on the specific cause of the seizures. The neurologist will tailor the treatment to your child. Some of the common treatments include medications and changes in diet.
Rev: 3/2014. This webpage is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.