ALTERNATING HEMIPLEGIA OF CHILDHOOD & TREATMENT
Definition: What is "Alternating hemiplegia of childhood"?
Alternating hemiplegia of childhood definition: Alternating hemiplegia of childhoon or "AHC" is a rare genetic disease that causes progressive mental retardation & intermittent paralysis, which starts during childhood.
Symptoms & Signs
Alternating hemiplegia of childhood occurs on children 4 years old & below. It can be present in a moderate or severe form. Patients with moderate cases of AHC have a good prognosis. This condition is usually related to migraines, which is indicated by episodes that occur only at night. All cases of moderate AHC develop no neurological impairment. Paralysis, gait, mental impairment, excessive sweating, balance impairment & extreme changes in the patient's body temperature indicate the severe form of AHC. Some patients also develop movement disorders & seizures.
Treatment: How to Treat "Alternating hemiplegia of childhood"?
A calcium channel blocker called flunarizine is the primary drug used for medical therapy. This drug reduces the severity & duration of paralysis episodes associated with the severe form alternating hemiplegia of childhood.
Children with the benign form of AHC usually have a good prognosis. However, those with a more severe case have poor prognosis due to mental & intellectual capacity does not respond to drug therapy. As such, gait & balance problems continue. When this is left untreated, walking unassisted becomes impossible.