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How can my daughter’s spasm be managed?

Q: My 11 months old daughter got a brain injury at the time of birth due to hypoxia and since then she is suffering from seizures. After five months her seizures changed to spasms. She has been given Omnacortil and Vigabatrin for infantile spasms but they gave no relief. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) helped her controlling the spasms and was given for two months. Now she is on Omnacortil, Epilex, Fresium and Toamac. She has brain injury on occipital and parietal lobes due to which she has limited vision. She approaches objects slightly but does not see objects, which are slightly far from her. What should we do now? How can her vision be restored? Her occupational therapy is already in process.

A:Your child is being appropriately treated for infantile spasms (West syndrome to be exact). The steroids will be withdrawn gradually. I would like to wait 3-6 months before giving steroids again. It is possible that the jerks may relapse once steroids are withdrawn.

There is no medicine or glasses to improve the cortical visual impairment. But some improvement will occur over time due to the secondary visual centres in the brain.

You can try swinging a torch in front of her; directing her attention to objects with the help of sound; using white pan cards with black designs/figures on them and bringing them in front of her vision and from the sides.


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