Challenge Awards

Preventing Autism And Other Long-Term Complications Of Infantile Spasms (IS)

Lionel Carmant, MD
CHU-Sainte-Justine, Montreal, Canada

Infantile spasms are a catastrophic form of epilepsy, because they are associated with an arrest or even a regression in the physical and mental development of children affected. More than 80% of children become mentally retarded and more than 10% develop autistic behaviors. In previous studies, children received a standard protocol of vitamin B6 and high dose vigabatrin for six months, except those with persistent spasms or EEG abnormalities at two weeks, who administered high dose steroids. In addition, in a double-blind manner, children received the neuroprotective treatment (flunarizine) versus placebo. In this two year study, Dr. Camant will evaluate whether this neuroprotective treatment improved long-term outcome by performing a developmental evaluation at 24 months and another one at 30 months post-diagnosis for autism. If preliminary results prove to be correct, Carmant anticipates that children treated with flunarizine will be more likely to develop normally and less likely to develop autism.


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