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Rev Neurol. 2002 Jan 16-31;34(2):157-62.

[Alternating hemiplegia in young babies].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Sección de Neuropediatría, Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, España.


INTRODUCTION. This paper review the state of the art of alternating hemiplegia of childhood. This entity is a rare neurologic disorder of infancy characterize by transient hemiplegic spells shifting from one side to another, and occasionally affecting to both hemispheres at the same time. Usually start before 18 months, many cases exhibit neonatal symptoms related with the disorder. Early symptomatology include abnormal ocular movements, mainly nystagmus, and tonic or dystonic attacks generally beginning before 6 months of age. These symptoms are frequently misdiagnosis as epilepsy. Typical hemiplegic fits which disappeared when infant felt asleep appeared by 12 months of age. Diagnosis is on clinical basis after excluding any other causes of fluctuating and transitory hemiplegic attacks. Complementary investigations, such as electroencephalograms, TAC, MRI, angiographic MRI, CFS are strictly normal. Cerebral SPECT show controversial abnormalities in some studies. We perform SPECT study in a alert 12 months old girl during an interictal period resulting in a non significant asymmetry, with lesser perfusion in left frontal basal and anterior temporal gyrus. Nevertheless, we observed an striking hyperperfusion in middle occipital area. Treatment is symptomatic with flunarizine. Our patient experience a dramatic decrease in frequency, duration and severity of hemiplegic attacks.

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