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What is the outlook or prognosis for children with with infantile spasms?           

Vigabatrin has been highly effective in treating infantile spasms due to TSC. Stopping spasms with vigabatrin has been associated with significant improvement of cognition and behavior in children with TSC (Jambaque et al, 2000). Controlling secondary generalization induced by infantile spasms also seems to be a key factor for intellectual development in children with TSC.

A study examining the intellectual abilities in individuals with TSC ages 4 to 75 years showed that about half of the people had IQs below the normal range (Joinson et al, 2003).  While only 14% had mild to severe impairments, 30.5% of the people with TS had profound disability (IQ < 21).

  • The likelihood of impairment was associated with a history of seizures, particularly infantile spasms. 
  • All individuals with learning disability had a history of seizures that usually started before 12 months of age and that often presented as infantile spasms.
  • This study showed that a history of seizures, as well as a history of infantile spasms, was predictive of the degree of intellectual impairment, reinforcing the importance of early diagnosis and rapid treatment of infantile spasms in children with TSC.  
Reviewed by: Patricia O. Shafer RN MN on 12/2013
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