February 14, 2024

Infantile Spasms: Speeding Referrals for All Infants

Article published by EurekAlert

Infantile epileptic spasms syndrome (IESS), often called infantile spasms (IS), is the most common form of epilepsy seen during infancy. Prompt diagnosis and referral to a neurologist are essential. A recent study found that Black children and children with public insurance are less likely to receive a standard treatment course for IESS. This prompted Boston Children’s neurology fellow Christina Briscoe Abath, MD, and her mentor Chellamani Harini, MD, to take a closer look at care for IS in infants from historically marginalized racial/ethnic backgrounds and create a new open-access training module for front-line providers in OPENPediatrics, an online learning community. The free, publicly accessible IS curriculum includes short lectures and videos illustrating IS to help primary care providers identify IESS and ensure prompt treatment. Through self-assessments at the end of each chapter, clinicians can test their diagnostic skills and hone their instincts. The module also invites clinicians to consider the reasons for inequities in the evaluation of IESS and how they might act to decrease the disparities.