One cause of early childhood seizures for affected kids in Florida was uncovered in a study by the University of Utah Health. Early infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE) begins in the first months of life with seizures that medication is unable to stop. While uncommon, the condition still occurs in around 1.2 out of every 1,000 live births in the United States. Children born with EIEE experience intellectual disabilities, developmental delays and, often, early death.
One researcher noted that children may take four or five medication and still experience frequent, ongoing seizures. There are several known causes of EIEE, including birth injuries and structural malformations of the brain. These birth injuries may often be caused by doctor or hospital mistakes during childbirth that can cause severe damage to the mother and infant. Because there remain cases of EIEE with no known cause, researchers have explored a genetic link to the issue.
In the study, 14 patients were given a whole-genome analysis and were able to identify mutations and structural changes to genes.In addition, they also identified mutations in genes that had not been previously linked with the seizure disorder. The scientists noted that the mutation was found in all 14 patients with EIEE with no previous known cause, indicating that this type of genomic analysis could ease the difficulty of making an EIEE diagnosis. Researchers said that the speed was increasing for the test and the cost decreasing, making it feasible to become the standard.
While genetic issues account for some cases of EIEE, birth injuries remain a major contributor. Childbirth can be a medically delicate time, and mistakes by a physician or other hospital staff can have devastating consequences. Parents of children who have been harmed due to a birth injury caused by medical negligence can consult with a medical malpractice attorney about the potential to seek compensation.