Objective: Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is a rare and intractable disorder. The etiology and standard therapy of AHC remain unknown. The long-term effects of flunarizine or topiramate on patients with AHC are still not clear.
Methods: Fifteen patients were investigated in this study. Their neurological disturbance and mental retardation after drug therapy were evaluated.
Results: Nine patients treated with flunarizine therapy and three children with topimarate treatment presented with shorter duration or less frequency of the hemiplegic attacks. These drug responsive patients also showed improvements on neurological disturbance including eye movement disorder, choreoathetotic movements, dystonia, and ataxia. However, seizure episodes and cognitive impairments were not alleviated in AHC with long-term drug therapy.
Conclusions: The findings from the present study support flunarizine or topitamate as the rational treatment for AHC.