An investigation into the relationship between vigabatrin, movement disorders, and brain magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in children with infantile spasms




We aimed to investigate the relationship between movement disorders, changes on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and vigabatrin therapy in children with infantile spasms.


Retrospective review and brain MRI analysis of children enrolled in the International Collaborative Infantile Spasms Study (ICISS) who developed a movement disorder on vigabatrin therapy. Comparisons were made with controls within ICISS who had no movement disorder.


Ten of 124 infants had a movement disorder and in eight it had developed on vigabatrin therapy. Two had a movement disorder that resolved on dose-reduction of vigabatrin, one had improvement on withdrawing vigabatrin, two had resolution without any dose change, and in three it persisted despite vigabatrin withdrawal. The typical brain MRI changes associated with vigabatrin therapy were noted in two infants. Ten control infants were identified. Typical MRI changes noted with vigabatrin were noted in three controls.


It is possible that in two out of eight cases, vigabatrin was associated with the development of a movement disorder. In six out of eight cases a causal relationship was less plausible. The majority of infants treated with vigabatrin did not develop a movement disorder. MRI changes associated with vigabatrin do not appear to be specifically related to the movement disorder.