Alternating hemiplegia of childhood

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Definition

Alternating hemiplegia of childhoon or "AHC" is a rare genetic disease that causes progressive mental retardation and intermittent paralysis, which starts during childhood.

Treatment

A calcium channel blocker called flunarizine is the primary drug used for medical therapy. This drug reduces the severity and duration of paralysis episodes associated with the severe form alternating hemiplegia of childhood.

Symptoms and Signs

Alternating hemiplegia of childhood occurs on children 4 years old and 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 and extreme changes in the patient's body temperature indicate the severe form of AHC. Some patients also develop movement disorders and seizures.

Prognosis

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 and intellectual capacity does not respond to drug therapy. As such, gait and balance problems continue. When this is left untreated, walking unassisted becomes impossible.

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