Alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) is a rare neurological disorder in which repeated, transient attacks of hemiplegia occur, usually affecting one side of the body or the other, or both sides of the body at once. It ranges from simple numbness in an extremity to full loss of feeling and movement.
People with AHC exhibit a wide range of symptoms. These include tonic attacks (lack of muscle tone), dystonic posturing (stiffening of extremities), ataxia (lack of coordination when performing voluntary movements), nystagmus (fast uncontrollable movements of the eyes that may be side to side, up and down, or rotary) and other ocular motor abnormalities (eye disorders), developmental delays, and seizures.
In the video below, Kenneth Silver, MD, of the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital discusses the condition and the need for more research to find a treatment for this rare disease.