Guzzetta, F., Cioni, G., Mercuri, E., Fazzi, E., Biagioni, E., Veggiotti, P., et al. (2008).

Neurodevelopmental evolution of West syndrome: a 2-year prospective study,Eur J Paediatr Neurol, 5 (12), 387-397.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the epileptic and developmental evolution in infants with West syndrome. METHODS: A prospective study of 21 infants was performed, with a follow-up at 2 years. Serial assessment included long-term EEG monitoring, visual and auditory evaluation and assessment of neurodevelopment. RESULTS: Neurosensory and developmental impairments at the spasm onset were transitory in seven cases, including four cryptogenic forms. In all other cases, there was a progressive worsening in neurosensory and developmental impairments. The epileptic evolution was generally better: in 11 of the 16 infants without seizures at outcome, spasms had already disappeared by 2 months after disease onset. Statistic analysis of results showed a correlation between neurosensory impairment and development throughout the whole follow-up. In addition, visual function at T1 resulted significant predictor of developmental outcome. Among the epileptic features, disorganization of slow sleep was an unfavorable prognostic factor. CONCLUSION: Some forms of West syndrome are confirmed to have a benign evolution: among them there are not only cryptogenic cases but also symptomatic ones without significant neurodevelopmental impairment. Abnormalities of sleep organization, expression of the pervasive epileptic disorder, seem to play a role in determining a developmental deterioration. Neurosensory impairment since the onset of the disease could be a relevant cause of the developmental disorder.