Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a rare and severe form of childhood-onset epilepsy. This condition is typically diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 5 and typically continues into adulthood. Children with LGS experience many different types of seizures. The most common type of seizures found in children with LGS are seizures that cause the arms and legs to suddenly stiffen (tonic seizures), seizures that cause a partial or complete loss of consciousness (atypical absence seizures), and seizures that are caused by a sudden loss of muscle tone (drop attacks). In addition to various types of seizures, children with LGS may also experience learning difficulties, developmental delays, and behavior disturbances. These symptoms are typically a result of the frequent seizures that are difficult to control.
In order to diagnose LGS, a doctor will look for three common characteristics that include a slow spike wave electroencephalogram (EEG) pattern, moderate to severe cognitive impairment, and multiple seizure types. An EEG is a test used to examine the electrical activity in the brain. Doctors can use this test to detect the slow spike wave pattern. Unfortunately, there is not a cure for LGS at this time. Children typically do not respond well to the medications that are available to control this condition. If your child has been diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, it may be helpful to speak with a doctor or therapist to gain additional information and support.