New hope in the fight against rare, devastating epilepsy disorder that begins in infancy

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 5:11 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Imagine giving birth to a healthy baby only to learn months later that he or she is afflicted with a rare and serious seizure disorder that can lead to lifelong impairments.

Dravet syndrome is a rare and life-long epileptic encephalopathy that generally begins in infancy. It is marked by frequent, treatment-resistant seizures, significant developmental and motor impairments that persist into adulthood, frequent hospitalizations and an increased risk of sudden death. It affects approximately one in 15,700 infants born in the U.S. and can be devastating in nature, as patients often cannot care for themselves and may require around-the-clock care.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment option for Dravet syndrome, offering new hope for patients and their families and caregivers. This treatment is also being researched to possibly treat other rare and severe forms of epilepsy. On Wednesday, in advance of Epilepsy Awareness Month in November, Mary Anne Meskis, Executive Director of the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to share the latest information about the disease, the signs to look for and the latest treatment options available.

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