WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- From December 1 to 7, 2021, a coalition of organizations will mark the seventh annual Infantile Spasms Awareness Week (ISAW). The goal of ISAW is to increase awareness and understanding of infantile spasms by offering educational materials to providers, caregivers, and the public; announcing new and useful research and support initiatives; and informing patients and caregivers help is available. The campaign is supported by the Infantile Spasms Awareness Network (ISAN), a coalition of 32 international organizations that have come together to inform families, healthcare providers and caregivers about the signs of infantile spasms.
"It's critical to remember infantile spasms are a medical emergency that should never be taken lightly, which is why Infantile Spasms Awareness Week is so important," said Kari Luther Rosbeck, President & CEO of the TSC Alliance®. "If you suspect your child may be showing symptoms of infantile spasms, inform your doctor immediately. Any delay in seeking emergency treatment can increase your child's risk for brain damage."
Because infantile spasms are more subtle than a typical grand mal or "convulsion" seizure, ISAN developed a simple-to-remember mnemonic tool, called 'STOP' Infantile Spasms, to help people remember what's most important when recognizing the disease's subtle symptoms:
- See the signs: clusters of sudden, repeated, uncontrolled movements like head bobs or body crunching.
- Take a video: record the symptoms and talk to your doctor immediately.
- Obtain diagnosis: confirm an irregular brain wave pattern with an EEG test.
- Prioritize treatment: end spasms to minimize developmental delays.
Infantile spasms (IS) are a rare, but serious type of seizure, occurring in 1 in 2,000 children, which can cause catastrophic, permanent damage to a child's developing brain. The seizures include repetitive, but often subtle movements including jerking of the mid-section, dropping of the head, raising of the arms or wide-eyed blinks. The onset of IS peaks between four and six months of age, although these seizures can begin anytime in the first two years. Infantile spasms are often overlooked or misdiagnosed for other conditions, including colic, reflux or a startle reflex. Worldwide, it is estimated a baby is diagnosed with IS every 12 minutes.
2021 ISAN members include: American Academy of Neurology | American Academy of Pediatrics | American College of Emergency Physicians | American Epilepsy Society | Association of Child Neurology Nurses | Be-TSC (Belgium) | Bridge the Gap-SYNGAP | The Brain Recovery Project: Childhood Epilepsy Surgery Foundation | Child Neurology Foundation | Child Neurology Society | CURE Epilepsy| Danny Did Foundation | Duke University Hospital | Dup15q Alliance | Epilepsy Canada | Epilepsy Foundation of America | Epilepsy Support Network of Orange County | FamiliesSCN2A Foundation | FundHemi | Global Genes | Hope for HIE| LGS Foundation | Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals | Mickie's Miracles | National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) | RARE Science | Ring14 USA | Seizure Tracker | STXBP1 Foundation | Steunpunt Kinderepilepsie | TSC Alliance | The UK Infantile Spasms Trust (UKIST) | Upsher-Smith Laboratories | Zogenix
For more information, follow the hashtag #ISAW2021 and visit infantilespasms.org.
Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications
SOURCE Infantile Spasms Action Network