Archive for category Neurology

Infantile Spasms (IS) – An FAQ

HEALTH ALERT: Parents, be advised that if your baby has Down syndrome, they have a 10% (1 out of 10) chance of having Infantile Spasms (a form of baby epilepsy). This is an under reported disease in infants with DS.

It shows up around 3 to 12 months of age and presents as a strange “Salaam” motion –the hands come together at the chest area and arms are extremely rigid. The legs also contract and the knees come up. The baby usually cries out during an episode. We have summarized what you need to know in this entry so that you can become familiar with IS and how it is treated. It is critical that you bring your baby to the emergency room for immediate care. This must be treated or brain injury will result.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

Steroids and High Intraoccular Pressure – Part III “Getting Great Results”

With a situation like high intraoccular eyeball pressure, you can expect to be checking the eyeball pressure and condition of the optic nerve and retina surface every 30 days to assess the effectiveness of the treatments. Ideally, there is no damage from the steroid use and treatments are bringing the eyeball pressure down into the normal range. A normal pressure is considered between 10 and 20 millimeters mercury (mmHg) of pressure. At the peak of steroid use we were seeing 42 and 44 mmHg which was putting her into the danger zone for potential optic and retina damage. After 5 months off steroids, her pressure was down to 14 and 15 mmHg consistently for 60 days. This made everyone sigh with relief. The numbers came down in this order: 44, 32, 29, 24, 22, 19, 18, 16, 14. So you can see that the combination of 2 prescription eyedrops, homeopathic remedies, Epsom salt baths, osteopathic and nutritional therapy all contributed to a steady progression of better eyeball pressure.

Current Strategy: Today, at 19 months of age, exactly 13 months since starting the steroids and 5 months off them, her eyeball pressure is at 14 mmHg and we are hoping for 12 at next testing. We continue to administer the two Rx eyedrops twice daily and the homeopathic Prednisonium 6X once a week and continue to see greater cognitive/physical milestone developments emerge. Once we reach either a 3rd consistent measure of 14 mmHg or a 12 mmHg pressure we can discontinue 1 of the Rx eyedrops. A 30 day follow-up to removing that drug will reveal if the eye is stable at 12-14 mmHg at which point we would remove the last Rx eyedrop or if the eye pressure goes up we will return to the drug we eliminated. The homeopathic remedy will continue until we feel that all the side effects to steroids has been reversed in her body.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Steroids and High Intraoccular Pressure – Part II “Getting Alternative”

16 Month Old Arabella - Two Months Off Prednisone

16 Month Old Arabella - Two Months Off Prednisone

Faced with an Exam Under Anesthesia (EUA) and possible surgery (a.k.a. the “S” word) to drain the eyeballs of excess fluid, I went into creative mode and did the following things to help bring down the eyeball pressure:

– Called our Osteopath to make a series of appoints back to back to get Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments (OMTs)

– Called our Homepath to get advice on what remedies we could use to bring down the eyeball pressure

– Called our relative who is an Ayurvedic doctor from India for herbal ideas

– Discussed the use of Epsom Salt baths with Dr. Granet to draw excess water out of her little body
Read the rest of this entry »

Steroids and High Intraoccular (inside the eyeball) Pressure – Part I “Discovery”

Swollen Cheeks (Edema) Due To Prednisone

Swollen Cheeks (Edema) Due To Prednisone

Our daughter was on steroids for nine months for Infantile Spasms (IS). During this time she experienced steroid-typical edema –high water pressure in her body, especially in her eyeballs which is dangerous because the tissues in the eyes, such as the optic nerve, be damaged during this time. High eyeball pressure is associated with baby glaucoma and is serious business. If left untreated, a baby can have serious damage to the eyes leading to poor vision or to loss of vision. Even mild vision loss is serious as it can lead to developmental delays in both social and education learning.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have a base line for her eye pressure prior to the discovery of seizures. Why would we? She was five and a half months old when we finally figured out she has IS and most babies don’t get eye tests until they are older unless they have a noticable problem with their eyes at birth, for example. Without a baseline measurement, we didn’t know if she was born with high eyeball pressure or if it was a side affect of Prednisone. Our bet was on the drugs. So was Dr. Granet’s who taught us, “Never bet against the child; you’ll always lose.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,