NEWS - YEAR 2019


24 September 2019 

Editorial comment written by the Scientific Coordinator of the IAHCRC Consortium, Prof. Mohamad Mikati, to the article about the epileptology of Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood that he recently published in the Scientific Journal NEUROLOGY.

"In a study of 51 consecutive AHC patients at Duke University, the Duke team found the following:

  1. That 63% of that group of AHC patients had epilepsy and that epilepsy was either of focal origin or generalized origin. Specifically, more than half seizures of focal onset and over 1/3 had seizures of generalized onset.
    Significance: This is important since the choice of the correct medication depends on the type of seizure and indicates that physicians taking care of AHC patients should determine first the type of epilepsy before deciding on the choice of which anti-epilepsy medication to choose.

  2. In 14% of the patients, the epileptic seizures even preceded the hemiplegic and dystonic manifestations.
    Significance: the occurrence of epileptic seizures should not lead to neglecting the symptoms of AHC which could lead physicians to miss or delay making the diagnosis of AHC.

  3. EEG studies were helpful but often were normal even after the epileptic seizures had already started.
    Significance: If epilepsy is suspected and the EEG is normal, repeating the EEG would be important since there was a lag of about 3-4 years in many patients before the EEG showed epileptic activity.

  4. In addition to the dystonia and hemiplegia spells most patients with AHC have episodes that can be confused with epileptic seizures consisting of staring and decreased responsiveness without any concurrent epileptic EEG change. These were termed Reduced Awareness Spells (RAS).
    Significance: These spells should not be misdiagnosed as epileptic seizures as this would lead to needless use of anti-epilepsy drugs. If RAS are suspected then these can be distinguished by capturing them on video or concurrent video EEG or by their lack of typical manifestations that accompany epileptic seizures.

  5. For patients whose epileptic seizures did not respond to medications the Duke team found that most of those patient had marked reductions in their seizures using vagal nerve stimulation (VNS).
    Significance: AHC patients with drug resistant epileptic seizures need to be considered to receive the VNS therapy

  6. Twelve of the 32 patients with epilepsy (lightly over 1/3) had one more prolonged severe epileptic seizures (status epilepticus). Four of these regressed neurologically due the status.
    Significance: This emphasizes the importance of detecting epileptic seizures and treating them quickly to prevent occurrence of status and the complications that can follow it."

You can read the abstract and download the full article at this link.

        Read Prof. Mikati's Article on the Neurology Website    

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NEWS - YEARS 2014 to 2018


17 September 2018 
a service for the international research on AHC and the ATP1A3 diseases

Tuesday October 30 2018, 3.30pm
I.E.ME.S.T. Institute
via Michele Miraglia, 20 – Palermo, Italy

Palermo, 17 September 2018
The President of the Euro-Mediterranean Institute of Science and Technology (I.E.ME.S.T.) Bartolomeo Sammartino communicates that on Tuesday October 30 2018, at 3.30pm, the press conference will take place at the headquarters of the Institute (via Michele Miraglia, 20 – IT Palermo), for the presentation of the Project “IAHCRC-CLOUD Platform”, aimed at establishing an international platform for the data collection and sharing serving the collaborative studies of the IAHCRC Consortium.
The technical and ethical aspects will be presented, as well as the innovative features of the IAHCRC-CLOUD Platform, making it a Second Generation Rare Disease Registry, implementing the principles and methods of patient engagement and platform cooperativism.
The current studies of the IAHCRC Consortium using the Platform will also be presented; among them, the longitudinal Study OBSERV-AHC, coordinated by the Division of Pediatric Neurology - AHC and Related Disorders Program of the Duke University in Durham, NC USA. In addition, some anticipations will be given on future developments already foreseen for the Platform, to make it an open, scalable and adaptable tool for any other rare disease.
Please confirm your participation via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday October 26 2018.

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IAHCRC - International Consortium for the Research on Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood and other ATP1A3 related diseases