Episode #79 - Infantile Spasms – Part 1: A Medical Emergency featuring Dr. Renée Shellhaas, Kari Rosbeck, Beth Dean


This week on Seizing Life®, we focus on infantile spasms (IS), a rare and particularly severe epilepsy syndrome that typically begins within the first year of life. Infantile spasms is characterized by subtle seizures which can be difficult to detect for both parents and physicians. However, due to potential developmental delays and cognitive impacts, IS is considered a medical emergency. This means that early detection, diagnosis, and treatment are vitally important. Because incidents of IS are statistically rare and the presentation can be so subtle, infantile spasms can often be mistaken for acid reflux. So how do you get an accurate diagnosis? And what do you do if your baby is diagnosed with IS?

Our infantile spasms panel of experts is here to provide you with everything you need to know about IS; what to look for, who to consult, when to get a second opinion, what your options are, and what to expect from treatment. Our panel includes Dr. Renée Shellhaas, Pediatric Neurologist and Director of Research at CS Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, Kari Rosbeck, President and CEO of the TSC Alliance and one of the founders of the Infantile Spasms Awareness Network (ISAN), and Beth Dean, CEO of CURE Epilepsy. Additionally, host Kelly Cervantes shares her personal experiences and insights from her daughter Adelaide’s IS diagnosis and treatment journey. While IS is statistically rare, it’s important that parents, physicians, and childcare personnel be aware, observant, and knowledgeable of the signs and symptoms of infantile spasms. In this episode, we aim to provide the best information in order to affect the most positive outcomes for those babies diagnosed with infantile spasms. If you are a new parent or know a new parent, we encourage you to watch and share this episode.

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    Infantile Spasms - Part 1: A Medical Emergency

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