Understanding Dravet Syndrome
Our Sunday focus on are disabilities and disorders looks at Dravet Syndrome. This is a severe paediatric epilepsy that begins in the first year of life.
A rare form of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome is associated with frequent seizures and begins in the first year of life. Babies with Dravet syndrome appear normal during the first few months after birth, and typically have their first seizures at five to eight months of age. They experience multiple types of seizures and are resistant to many anti-epileptic drugs.
When the child is two or three years old, behavioural and other developmental delays become evident. There is mild to severe mental retardation, sleep disturbances and personality disorders. Dravet syndrome is also associated with increased risk of sudden death.
Some common signs
- Prolonged and/or frequent seizures.
- Behavioural, developmental delays.
- Movement and balance issues.
- Orthopaedic conditions.
- Delayed language and speech issues.
- Sleeping difficulties.
- Sensory integration disorders.
Dravet syndrome is incurable and ensuring best life quality for patients and their families is important. Because it’s a progressive and unpredictable condition, families of affected children can face extreme anxiety.
Treatment options are very few and a person with Dravet syndrome needs constant care. It has a severe impact on the quality if life of the affected person as well as the family/caregiver. – Dr Mukesh Kumar, Neurologist, Max Hospital, Delhi
Early diagnosis is important to avoid wrong treatment. There should be continuous counselling, rehabilitation and psychological support.