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Brain Dev. 2001 Nov;23(7):705-7.

Spontaneous remission of spasms in West syndrome--implications of viral infection.

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Department of Pediatrics, Kyoto University School of Medicine, 54 Kawahara-cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


On a database of the Japanese medical literature between 1970 and 2000, there were 29 patients with West syndrome showing spontaneous remission. In 25/29 (86%) of the patients, spontaneous remission was preceded by viral infections, among which exanthema subitum predominated. In 16/29 (55%), the spasms recurred a median of 2 months later. However, some of the remaining infants attained lasting remission of the spasms. This link between viral infections and spontaneous remission suggests immuno-inflammatory processes underlie West syndrome in certain patients. Better understanding of such mechanisms may lead to a new therapeutic approach to West syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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