Adrenocorticotropic hormone and vigabatrin treatment of children with infantile spasms underlying cerebral palsy

Brain Dev. Nov-Dec 1996;18(6):450-2. doi: 10.1016/s0387-7604(96)00045-9.


Nine infants with an underlying static encephalopathy (confirmed as cerebral palsy in a later follow-up examination) and newly diagnosed infantile spasms were entered in an open study with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and vigabatrin as the initial therapy regimen. The ACTH was discontinued after 4-6 weeks and the infants were maintained on vigabatrin alone. Following an initial response with complete suppression of spasms in all patients, a long term response maintained for a mean of 19.2 months was confirmed in all but one child. Tolerability appeared excellent with 7 of 9 patients reporting no side effects; vigabatrin related hypotonia presented in all patients and turned out to be a 'positive' side-effect on the abnormally increased muscle tone of these infants. Given the very poor prognosis of infantile spasms especially in such conditions as cerebral palsy, the combination of ACTH and vigabatrin appears to be an interesting therapy advance with very few side effects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use*
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Prognosis
  • Spasms, Infantile / drug therapy*
  • Spasms, Infantile / etiology
  • Vigabatrin
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / therapeutic use


  • Anticonvulsants
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Vigabatrin