The Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is one of the most severe forms of childhood epilepsy. Several different kinds of seizures occur.
Seizures usually start between 2 and 5 years of age, but may start under two years. They rarely start after the age of 8.
The child’s development is rarely normal before the seizures start. Often there is delayed development or other forms of epilepsy – 20 per cent of cases the child has previously had infantile spasms (West Syndrome). The first seizures are either atonic seizures (drop attacks) or atypical absences (child goes blank). Some children may have prolonged or repeated seizures very close together. This is called status epileptics and may need emergency help.
The Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is one of the hardest forms of childhood epilepsy to treat. There are many children for whom no anti-epileptic are effective and some children may need more than one anti-epileptic drug.