Long-term effect of flunarizine on patients with alternating hemiplegia of childhood in Japan


      To determine the effect of flunarizine therapy on patients with alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC), we sent a questionnaire by mail to council members of the Japanese Society of Child Neurology. We collected 28 AHC patients, and studied their clinical courses and the effects of drug therapy. All of the patients had received flunarizine. In 18 of the 28 patients, flunarizine reduced the severity, duration, or frequency of the hemiplegic attacks. No other drug was more effective than flunarizine. Some flunarizine non-effective patients were severely deteriorated, for example, they had dementia or were ventilator-assisted. Flunarizine had not only a short-term effect, i.e. it reduced the hemiplegic attacks, but also a long-term effect on the motor and intellectual development in some patients with AHC. Flunarizine is still an essential drug for treating AHC.


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