CHINESE ACAD SCI,INST HIGH ENERGY PHYS,BEIJING 100039,PEOPLES R CHINA
This paper is a summary of our observations on 105 cases of infantile spasms. The age of onset was around six months after birth, but the patients came for treatment mainly about one year after onset. Fever of unknown cause, asphyxia, birth injury, infection of the central nervous system, tuberous sclerosis, phenylketonuria and recent immunization etc. were complained. Clinically, it is characterized by head nodding, mental retardation, myclonic jerks and various neurologic deficits. EEG findings showed classical or modified arrythmia or other epileptiform patterns. About one third of 22 cases examined had abnormal brain stem auditory evoked potentials. Among 42 patients who underwent CT scanning before ACTH treatment, 18 were normal and 7 abnormal; during ACTH treatment 3 normal and 4 abnormal; after completion of treatment, 4 normal and 6 abnormal, suggesting no further atrophy of the brain. Examination of trace elements of the hair by particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) method in 23 patients revealed a significant difference in lead, calcium and zinc contents between patients and 101 controls, but no statistical difference in iron and copper contents between the two groups. Sodium valproate, prednisone and ACTH appear to be effective in the treatment of infantile spasms. Eight patients fully recovered, and they can go to school without difficulty. Many patients derived various degrees of improvement to the satisfaction of their parents. Two patients were still amented and often attacked by myoclonus. The effects, side effects of these drugs, and the possible pathogenesis were discussed.