West syndrome - Definition

Ask a question


West syndrome, also called generalized flexion epilepsy, is a rare form of epilepsy. It can be caused by a genetic anomaly, or by brain lesions. This syndrome above all affects babies between 4 and 7 months old. It causes very brief muscular spasms that cause all four limbs to move and the head to flex. As the syndrome progresses the spasms evolve over a few months and developmental regression is reported. Electroencephalography is performed to establish diagnosis, typically revealing hypsarrhythmia, which confirms an abnormal activity of the brain's neurons. Corticosteroid-based treatment can be prescribed.