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    kellychan's Avatar
    kellychan Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 2, 2007, 09:52 AM
    Baby strange illness. Whole body of baby get harden
    My brother's baby boy 4 months old got a strange illness. He had blood tested, brain scanning, lung checking etc. Everything is normal. But the baby boy got an unpreditable "body harden" illness. That is when it happens, the whole body of the baby get stiff and he can not move, can not cry... We can tell he is very tired and suffered. Feel very sorry and sad for him. If anyone of you know the name of the illness or any information about it please help us.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,298, Reputation: 5646

    Feb 2, 2007, 10:01 AM
    The body does not stay "hard" it goes back to normal after a while?
    bkdaniels's Avatar
    bkdaniels Posts: 140, Reputation: 12
    Junior Member

    Feb 2, 2007, 05:09 PM
    If you have taken normal blood tests, brain scanning, and lung function checks, chances are your Physician will have to conduct a complete sepsis workup for such rare diseases, e.g. Sclerema and conditions originating in the perinatal period. Most frequently, laboratory abnormalities correlate with the underlying disease process, but for some cases, histologic findings are subtle.

    In Sclerema, for example, physical findings appear suddenly, first on the thighs and buttocks and then, spreading rapidly, often affecting all parts of the body except the palms, soles, and genitalia. The involved skin is pale, waxy, and firm to palpation. The skin cannot be pitted or pinched up because it is bound to the underlying tissues. The affected infant often displays flexion contractures at the elbows, knees, and hips; temperature instability; restricted respiration; difficulty in feeding; and decreased spontaneous movement.

    This symptom, however may be considered best as a sign of a potentially fatal underlying disease process and not a specific disease entity. This symptom alone may not be enough information for your Physician to make a diagnosis, so you must talk with your physician if his condition does not improve or new symptoms occur.

    Hope this answers your question!
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,298, Reputation: 5646

    Feb 2, 2007, 05:11 PM
    BK, this was great insight!!

    My reason for asking if the "hardening" stays this way is because I was actually thinking of an epileptic seizure. I have a friend who has a young daughter that, upon having a seizure, just stiffens up for a few minutes.

    A neurologist would be good to contact about that.

    Just my thoughts. But I like yours better.
    kellychan's Avatar
    kellychan Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Feb 3, 2007, 11:15 AM
    Thank you very much for your answer and information.
    To J_9: yes he just stiffens for a while then back to normal. But this time was lasting for hours.

    But the "stiffen" happens more frequently now. It has happened up to now 4 times in 4 months. The symptom very much like what BKDaniel said. And yes we are told by doctor that the bady boy is lacking of calcium. He has been taking calcium supplementary pill. I would like to know if the situation does not improve, will it lead to fatal?

    Again thank you very much for your information. Looking forward to getting more information and advices.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,298, Reputation: 5646

    Feb 3, 2007, 11:24 AM
    Kelly, unfortunately we cannot tell you if this is fatal over the internet. Only a physician who specializes in disorders of this kind can do that in person. The child should be taken to a physician to be sure.

    To expand on what BK said, since it sounds like he is on point here and it does not necessarily sound like a seizure disorder (although I would not rule that out at this point in time, a neurologist could make that diagnosis)

    Sclerema Neonatorum is a progressive generalized hardening of the skin and subcutaneous tissue of the newborn. It is usually a fatal condition that results from severe cold stress in severely ill premature infants subject to life-threatening conditions as metabolic acidosis, hypoglycemia, GI or respiratory infection or gross malformation. It is also called Scleredema nenatorum, sclerema adiposum.

    I still would not rule out seizure disorder at this point unless this has already been ruled out.
    Pathprof's Avatar
    Pathprof Posts: 8, Reputation: 3
    New Member

    Feb 9, 2007, 04:16 PM
    This does not sound like Sclerema Neonatorum from what you have described. This condition does not come and go. In patients with sclerema you push in the skin over an affected area and it shouldn't dimple because the underlying fatty tissue is hardening. This is a simple test. What you are describing sounds more like epileptic seizures but need more information. The hardening in this case is called myoclonus. Many conditions can stimulate myoclonus.
    bkdaniels's Avatar
    bkdaniels Posts: 140, Reputation: 12
    Junior Member

    Feb 9, 2007, 09:46 PM
    Since your doctor said that your brother's 4 month old is "lacking of calcium", this may have something to do with the role of muscle activity and calcium. Calcium is part of the electrical change (electrolytes) that have an influential effect on neuromuscular excitability.

    Technically, the mechanical change or twitch lasts a great deal longer than the action potiential. A second electrical wave can, therefore, arrive before the muscle fiber has relaxed, prolonging the contraction, and if the anterior horn cell fires (or the motor axon is stimulated) at frequencies of 10 to 20 per s, the twitches fuse into a prolonged contraction.

    So, to say that in English, your brother's boy may have Tetanus. Tetanus is not epileptic, but it can cause violent convulsions (seizures) and is diagnosed, only, by its symptoms.

    However, discuss this issue with your doctor. There is a possibility your brother's boy may not have had his tetanus immunization shot.

    Hope this answers your question!


    1. Tetanus
    fairy9800's Avatar
    fairy9800 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    May 3, 2007, 11:05 AM
    My daughter went through the same thing. The doctors called it seizure activity. After a while it turned into full blown seizures and after lots of test they told me she had infantile syncope. It's a rare condition that most children do outgrow. She went 3 years without an episode before having one last October but has been free of them since. It sounds just like the same thing. Don't worry. Everything will be fine.
    bushg's Avatar
    bushg Posts: 3,433, Reputation: 596
    Ultra Member

    May 18, 2007, 06:15 AM
    My niece did this when she was a few of months old. She would arch her back eyes would roll back in her head and she would be very stiff.but it would not last very long. This happened quite a few times... this was 30 yrs ago... we didn't think about seizures, although I'm quite sure that was what it was and we were from a rural area not much as far as doctors. They just thought she did this when she beacme frightened of a sudden noise etc. my niece did not suffer any long term effects nor does she have seizures now. Hope this helps.

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