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This rare disorder must be diagnosed as soon as possible

A rare infant seizure disorder is often hard to diagnose, but if it’s not caught, it can cause devastating consequences. It’s a rare form of epilepsy that can cause major health consequences to these children.

Typically, the first signs of this condition arise at four to 12 months old, according to a researcher and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles. The seizures caused aren’t the same as other kinds; they cause the child to drop his or her head quickly and to jerk the arms upward. The seizures are short, lasting only around a second, but these quick seizures can cause serious harm to the child.

Also known as infantile spasms, the epileptic fits can lead to lifelong epilepsy, mental retardation and autism. Even a short delay, as short as a week, can impact the child’s lifelong intelligence.

In the study performed by the professor and his colleagues, 100 children with this condition were monitored. Close to half had to wait a month or longer for the correct diagnosis, and only around 29 percent were seen by a provider who could identify the issue within a week of the onset of the condition. Perhaps most shocking was that in some cases, doctors had dismissed parental concerns, and parents themselves had to find the diagnosis by searching the internet.

These seizures can result from strokes, infections or brain abnormalities; combined with chaotic brain wave patterns, children are at risk of suffering greater injuries from this form of epilepsy. Your doctor should be looking for this condition if you indicate that your child has had spasms; failing to provide treatment could lead to cause for a negligence case.

Source: KTBS, “Rare infant seizure disorder often missed,” Kathleen Doheny, Dec. 06, 2016