Spontaneous remission of spasms in West syndrome--implications of viral infection

Brain Dev. 2001 Nov;23(7):705-7. doi: 10.1016/s0387-7604(01)00278-9.


On a database of the Japanese medical literature between 1970 and 2000, there were 29 patients with West syndrome showing spontaneous remission. In 25/29 (86%) of the patients, spontaneous remission was preceded by viral infections, among which exanthema subitum predominated. In 16/29 (55%), the spasms recurred a median of 2 months later. However, some of the remaining infants attained lasting remission of the spasms. This link between viral infections and spontaneous remission suggests immuno-inflammatory processes underlie West syndrome in certain patients. Better understanding of such mechanisms may lead to a new therapeutic approach to West syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / epidemiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / virology
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Neuroimmunomodulation
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Spasms, Infantile / epidemiology*
  • Spasms, Infantile / immunology
  • Spasms, Infantile / virology*
  • Virus Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Virus Diseases / immunology


  • Cytokines