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May 1996

Infantile Spasms and West Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology University of South Florida College of Medicine 17 Davis Blvd Tampa, FL 33606

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(5):563-564. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170300117038

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


Infantile Spasms and West Syndrome, a multiauthored book by an international group of faculty, addresses one of the most intriguing, confusing, and controversial epileptic disorders unique to infants in early childhood. Infantile spasms (IS) are defined as the combination of epileptic spasms and diffuse spike activity occurring in infants; West syndrome is defined as the combination of infantile spasms and hypsarrhythmia, with or without cognitive impairment. The incidence of IS is one in every 2000 to 4000 infants.

The book contains a foreword, overview, five chapters, references, and index. The first chapter, titled "Background," gives historical perspectives, definitions of various epileptologic terms used throughout the book, a detailed review of epidemiology of West syndrome and IS, and basic pathophysiology of seizures as a function of age. Sections of this chapter are difficult to read as they are saturated with information at times loosely related to the main subject. A summary

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