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April 1996

Infantile Spasms and West Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY

Arch Neurol. 1996;53(4):299. doi:10.1001/archneur.1996.00550040027008

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This monograph is an authoritative account of infantile spasms, a troubling and all too common disorder. A scholarly tone is set from the very first page where epileptic spasms are defined as a type of seizure and infantile spasms as the epilepsy syndrome that combines epileptic spasms and the electroencephalographic (EEG) pattern of hypsarrhythmia.

The text is divided into five sections. In the first, detailed reviews of the history and epidemiologic features of infantile spasms are given. Included in this section is a speculative, but insightful, chapter about potential underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms. The second section consists of five chapters thoroughly examining the clinical and EEG manifestations of this disorder. A clear conceptual framework is developed within these chapters for what is generally a confusing topic. Well-chosen illustrative cases demonstrate the author's intended points. Some emphasis is placed on focal features that are often underrecognized in this form of epilepsy. The

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