Uncategorized | Epilepsy NYC - Epilepsy Foundation of Metropolitan New York

Infantile Spasms Awareness Week

Infantile Spasms (IS), also known as West Syndrome, is a rare form of age-specific epilepsy that usually presents itself in children within the first year of life. Early diagnosis and treatment of Infantile Spasms is of the utmost importance, and in many cases can ensure a more positive prognosis and a better quality of life, and significantly increases the chances of achieving reaching normal child development milestones.

Watch the videos below and check out our blog to hear a firsthand account of what it’s like to have a child with Infantile Spasms and to learn more about how Infantile Spasms (IS) are diagnosed, what signs to look for and what treatments are available.

In honor of Infantile Spasms Awareness Week, please share the videos below with friends and family in order to help us raise awareness about this rare form of epilepsy, and about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment.

Q&A with Dr. Akila Venkataraman

NEXT UP: Part I of “When Seizure Types Change”  by Dr. Shahin Nouri


The team at EFMNY would like to thank you for your questions! After each post, we’ll post answers from our experts to the most frequently asked questions we receive.  Please note that these Q&A post, like our provider articles, should not be taken as medical advice.  Each patient is unique.  For medical advice regarding your specific condition, please consult your doctor.


Q&A with Dr. Akila Venkataraman:


1. I was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 9 and I’ve continued to have seizures for more than a decade in spite of seeing a number of doctors and taking several medications. My parents and siblings are all healthy. Why are some people predisposed to have seizures while others are not? I’ve never even had a head injury.

While many people who have seizures may have a family history of epilepsy, having seizures depends mostly on the nature of an individual’s brain cells. Some people have been found to have genes that make them more susceptible to having seizures than others, even if they are otherwise healthy.

2. You mentioned the social implications of being unable to drive due to seizures. I’ve been seizure free for 8 months, so my doctor cleared me to drive again. I was thrilled, but now every time I get behind the wheel, I’m paralyzed. I’m so afraid that this could be the day it comes back. How can I be sure I won’t have another seizure while driving? (more…)