HAYWARD, Calif., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOR) today announced that it is again partnering with the Child Neurology Foundation (CNF) in support of the 4th annual Infantile Spasms Awareness Week, which will take place December 3 - 12, 2012.
As part of this education effort, CNF has developed a website, www.infantilespasmsinfo.org, that provides information on infantile spasms from leading child neurologists and shares stories from families coping with this devastating condition. Earlier this year, CNF launched the Infantile Spasms Parent Mentor Network on the website so that parents of newly-diagnosed children can connect directly with parents who have been through a similar experience with their child. CNF has also developed an educational brochure and DVD on infantile spasms that it makes available to physicians and parents alike.
"Questcor is very excited to continue its partnership with the Child Neurology Foundation," said Steve Cartt, Chief Operating Officer for Questcor. "The goal of Infantile Spasms Awareness Week is to provide pediatricians, child neurologists, parents, and caregivers with objective educational tools which will help increase awareness and understanding of this very rare form of epilepsy."
As part of Infantile Spasms Awareness Week, the CNF announced that Dr. Ali Mostajelean, a pediatric neurologist at Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, California, has been selected as this year's Infantile Spasms Hero.
John Stone, executive director of the CNF, commented, "The IS Hero Award recognizes a deserving child neurologist and medical institution, nominated by a parent, for making a positive difference in the life of a child with infantile spasms. This is another way we can draw attention to infantile spasms and recognize the important contributions made by child neurologists in the care of these infants."
Dr. Mostajelean was nominated by the Llano family in California. "I consider Dr. Mostajelean a hero because he really explained everything to us regarding the potential outcomes and the reasons behind his method of treatment (early and aggressive)," said Alice Llano. "For parents whose baby is otherwise completely healthy it can be easy to dismiss the need for such an aggressive treatment, thinking they may be doing more harm than good. However, Dr. Mostajelean made it very clear what could happen if we did not start treatment immediately and was excellent at explaining the underlying and potential reasons for the disorder. On top of that, when things looked positive he made sure to give us hope and strength. Dr. Mostajelean was thorough, compassionate but direct, supportive and positive. I would recommend him to any family going through this heartbreaking experience. Today, our son is doing well and suffers from no developmental delays."
Dr. Mostajelean said, in accepting the award, "It is an absolute honor to receive this recognition, which I proudly share with my colleagues and support staff at Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland. Early recognition and treatment of infantile spasms has been a fundamental tenet of my practice and something I hope to instill upon others. As clinicians, our job is unique in that our reward is based upon the responsibility (to treat), rather than fixed to a particular outcome. No condition better demonstrates this than infantile spasms. We cannot always assure an ideal outcome, but we have the privilege of guiding a family through diagnosis and treatment as if the child were our own. I applaud the Child Neurology Foundation, as they continue to make these topics more accessible to the public and champion ongoing research and funding of this poorly understood condition."
Infantile Spasms is a severe, ultra-rare form of epilepsy that affects infants, with onset typically occurring during the first year of life in about 90 percent of cases. IS incidence is estimated at approximately 2,000 new cases in the U.S. per year, which can be classified as an ultra-orphan disease. For comparison, orphan disease designation pertains to diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people. IS patients experience rapid, characteristic muscular contraction or extensions lasting one to two seconds and occurring in clusters ranging from a few spasms to more than 100 spasms per cluster. Often, in the beginning, the attacks are brief, infrequent and not typical, so it is quite common for the diagnosis to be delayed. Frequently, due to the pattern of the attacks and the cry that an infant gives during or after an attack, the attacks are sometimes initially thought to be due to colic or gastric distress.
About the Child Neurology Foundation
Founded in October 2000, the Child Neurology Foundation's mission is to advocate for children and adolescents with neurologic and developmental disorders; fund neurologic research of young investigators; promote awareness of career opportunities in child neurology; provide public, professional, and patient education programs; and support the activities and mission of the Child Neurology Society.
For more information on the CNF, please visit www.childneurologyfoundation.org.
About Questcor Pharmaceuticals
Questcor is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of patients with serious, difficult-to-treat autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. The company's efforts are currently focused on the fields of neurology, nephrology and rheumatology, areas of medicine which have significant unmet medical needs. For more information, please visit www.questcor.com.
SOURCE Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.