Ohtahara syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by seizures. The disorder affects newborns, usually within the first three months of life (most often within the first 10 days) in the form of epileptic seizures. Infants have primarily tonic seizures, but may also experience partial seizures, and rarely, myoclonic seizures. Ohtahara syndrome is most commonly caused by metabolic disorders or structural damage in the brain, although the cause or causes for many cases can’t be determined. Most infants with the disorder show significant underdevelopment of part or all of the cerebral hemispheres. The EEGs of infants with Ohtahara syndrome reveal a characteristic pattern of high voltage spike wave discharge followed by little activity. This pattern is known as “burst suppression.” Doctors have observed that boys are more often affected than girls.
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Last updated December 5, 2008