Identifying and Treating Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is a form of childhood epilepsy that requires careful diagnosis, treatment and transitional management into adulthood. In “Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Across the Lifespan: Improving Diagnosis and Management,” a presentation from NeuroSeriesLive, experts Gregory L. Krauss, MD, from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and John M. Pellock, MD, at Virginia Commonwealth University discuss the condition and provide suggestions for transitioning pediatric clients to an adult care setting.
Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is a historically challenging epilepsy form to treat, according to Dr. Krauss. The aim of this video presentation is to help a wide range of medical professionals recognize some of the classic signs of Lennox-Gastaut to ensure that both adolescent and adult patients with the condition receive excellent care.
Understanding the Triad of Common Features in Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome
Dr. Krauss and Dr. Pellock discuss the “Triad of Common Features” for those with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. A part of this triad is a distinctive electroencephalogram (EEG) that has slow spike-wave discharges of less than 2.5 hertz. Featured in the video presentation are several examples of EEG pattern illustrations to aid healthcare providers in recognizing potential Lennox-Gastaut symptoms.
Dr. Krauss notes that every patient may not display all areas of the triad. In these instances, he recommends a variety of diagnostic tools.
There are many misconceptions related to Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome diagnosis, according to Dr. Krauss. These include the belief that it is a pediatric condition that does not persist or have repercussions in adulthood. In reality, not only does the condition span to adulthood, the seizure types and occurrences can also change as a person ages.
Lennox-Gastaut Patients Are Medically Managed Differently
Unlike some other epileptic syndromes, the successful treatment factor for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is often enhancing quality of life with less of a focus on freedom from seizures, says Dr. Pellock.
The FDA has approved six medications as therapies for treating Lennox-Gastaut, which Drs. Pellock and Krauss discuss in their presentation. Dr. Krauss also makes recommendations for emergency treatment plans for those with the condition.
The physicians also discuss the advantages and drawbacks of additional treatment approaches ranging from a ketogenic diet to vagal nerve stimulation or callosotomy.
A Re-Worked Triad for Adults with Lennox-Gastaut
Just as there is a triad of features for diagnostic criteria, there is a triad of feature changes from childhood to adulthood in patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. For example, in 50 percent of symptomatic cases, patients do not experience the slow spike-wave EEG patterns that are a hallmark of Lennox-Gastaut in children.
“Children with Lennox-Gastaut typically do not go into remission and enter their adult years and their syndromes really vary considerably,” Dr. Krauss says. “In fact, many adults who had Lennox-Gastaut with classic findings in childhood evolved in adulthood with new findings that actually don’t match up some of the formal characteristics of the syndrome that were defined as a part of the childhood syndrome.”
Knowing the anticipated differences in this triad for an adult with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome helps adult care providers recognize the transition into adult disease symptoms and provide the best care possible for their patients.
“It’s very important if you inherit a patient who is transitioning from pediatric clinics to your adult practice, to really try to manage their social, behavioral treatment needs, to work with their family carefully, work with the general physician carefully because these patients often have issues that will be picked up by them” says Dr. Krauss.
To learn how to use evidence-based measures to enhance your practice’s diagnosis and care for those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and earn CME credits, please watch “Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome Across the Lifespan: Improving Diagnosis and Management” on NeuroSeries Live.
Disclaimer: “All PlatformQ Health articles reports, summaries and recaps of events and are for informational purposes. The quotes and opinions of the speakers covered are not to be taken as direct advice for individual patients. Patients should always seek care from qualified, properly accredited healthcare professionals.”
This program has completed – to find current and upcoming educational programs please visit NeuroSeriesLive.