Cognitive, adaptive, and behavioral profiles and management of alternating hemiplegia of childhood.
To determine the neuropsychological abnormalities that occur in alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) and report on our experience in managing them.
Patients underwent evaluations according to our standardized AHC pathway. Data were entered into our prospective AHC database and then analyzed.
Of the cohort of 25 consecutive patients (ages 15mo-42y), eight had initial chief complaints about cognition, 14 language, five attention, and 11 behavior. As compared to population norms means, neuropsychological and behavioral assessment tools (including Child Behavior Checklist, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Peabody Picture Vocabulary, and Wechsler Intelligence Quotient tests) showed significant impairments in multiple domains: cognition, expressive and receptive language, executive function/attention, and behavior (p<0.05 in all comparisons). Evaluations generated management recommendations in all patients. Twenty had neuropsychiatric diagnoses: 10 attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), seven disruptive behavior, and three anxiety disorder. Eight out of nine patients with ADHD who were prescribed medications responded to pharmacotherapy.
Patients with AHC have developmental difficulties related to impairments in multiple neuropsychological domains. This supports the hypothesis that the underlying AHC pathophysiology involves diffuse neuronal dysfunction. Testing generated recommendations to help manage these difficulties. Patients with AHC also have a range of neuropsychiatric diagnoses, the most common being ADHD which responds to pharmacotherapy.
WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS:
Patients with alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) have developmental difficulties with underlying neuropsychological impairments. The findings in this study are consistent with an underlying AHC pathophysiology which involves diffuse neuronal, probably largely GABAergic, dysfunction. Patients with AHC have a range of neuropsychiatric diagnoses, the most common being attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
© 2018 Mac Keith Press. Cure AHC is excited to have provided funding and support to the Multidisciplinary Clinic for AHC and Related Disorders at Duke University for this important publication. This article can be helpful for parents seeking academic and developmental support for their AHC Champion, such as a 1 on 1 aide, resource placement in school, and Individual Education Plan (IEP) development.