However, side-effects such as severe infections, hypertension and electrolyte imbalance have been found, assumed to be related to hypercortisolism induced by chronic ACTH treatment. The authors treated 18 patients with infantile spasms with non-depot ACTH(1-24). The therapeutic effect of non-depot ACTH was comparable to that of depot ACTH, with no severe bacterial infection or sepsis. The incidence of hypertension was significantly lower in the non-depot ACTH group, and persistent hypercortisolaemia was not found. Non-depot ACTH(1-24) appears to be as effective as ACTH(1-24) depot therapy in the treatment of infantile spasms, and its side-effects are mild. It would appear that the effect of non-depot ACTH is not mediated by hypercortisolism, but by a direct neurotropic effect on the brain.