Abstract Introduction ONE OF THE most discouraging problems facing the pediatrician today is the child with myoclonic seizures. These seizures are characterized by a brief lapse of consciousness, lasting only seconds, with abrupt, symmetrical flexion of the head, trunk, and/or extremities. Onset is usually in early infancy.1 Other terms used to describe these attacks include salaam jerks, lightning major seizures, massive spasms, jackknife attacks, Blitzkrampfe, and infantile spasms.22 These seizures often herald a downhill course marked by uncontrollable massive spasms and severe mental retardation. Many of the infants have preexisting "brain damage" of heterogeneous etiology1; however, there are some who appear neurologically normal at the onset of the seizures.2,3It is generally accepted that the seizure is only a symptom of an underlying "damaged" central nervous system and most times is refractory to therapy with conventional anticonvulsant agents.1,2 The value of corticosteroids in controlling the myoclonic References 1. Bray, P. F.: Influence of Adrenal Steroids and Corticotropin on Massive Myoclonic Seizures of Infancy , Pediatrics 32:169, 1963. 2. Chao, D. H.; Taylor, F. M.; and Druckman, R.: Massive Spasms , J Pediat 50:670, 1957.Crossref 3. Bower, B. D., and Jeavons, P. M.: Effect of Corticotrophin and Prednisolone of Infantile Spasms With Mental Retardation , Arch Dis Child 36:23, 1961.Crossref 4. Low, N. L.: Infantile Spasms With Mental Retardation , Pediatrics 22:1165, 1958. 5. Livingston, S.: Convulsive Disorders in Children , Springfield, Ill: Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 1954, p 217. 6. Gellis, S. S., and Kagan, B. K. Current Pediatric Therapy , Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1964, p 71. 7. Keith, H. M.: Convulsive Disorders in Children , Boston: Little, Brown, & Co., Inc., 1963, pp 146-183. 8. Randall, L. O., et al: Pharmacological and Clinical Studies on Valium: New Psychotherapeutic Agent of the Benzodiazepine Class , Curr Ther Res 3:305, 1961. 9. Weinberg, W. A.: Control of Neuromuscular and Convulsive Manifestations of Severe Systemic Tetanus , Clin Pediat 3:226, 1964.Crossref 10. Katz, R. A.; Aldes, J. H.; and Rector, M.: New Drug Approach to Muscle Relaxation , J Neuropsychiat 3:591, 1962. 11. Feldman, P. D.: Analysis of Efficacy of Diazepam , J Neuropsychiat 3:562, 1962. 12. Towler, M. L.: Clinical Use of Diazepam in Anxiety States and Depressions , J Neuropsychiat 3: 568, 1962. 13. Howard, F. M., Sr.: New and Effective Drug in Treatment of Stiff-Man Syndrome: Preliminary Report , Proc Mayo Clin 38:203, 1963. 14. Doshay, L. J., et al: Symposium on Diazepam , Western Med (special suppl) 4:3, 1963. 15. Gibbs, F. A., and Gibbs, E. L.: Atlas of Electroencephalography , Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc., 1952, vol 2, p 24. 16. Gibbs, E. L.; Fleming, M. D.; and Gibbs, F. A.: Diagnosis and Prognosis of Hypsarhythmia and Infantile Spasms , Pediatrics 13:66, 1954. 17. Gibbs, F. A., and Gibbs, E. L.: Clinical and Pharmacological Correlations of Fast Activity in Electroencephalography , J Neuropsychiat (suppl 1) 3:573 ( (Aug) ) 1962.
American Journal of Diseases of Children – American Medical Association
Published: Feb 1, 1965