Thursday, March 26, 2009

National Purple Day

What is Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome?
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy. Seizures usually begin before 4 years of age. Seizure types, which vary among patients, include tonic (stiffening of the body, upward deviation of the eyes, dilation of the pupils, and altered respiratory patterns), atonic (brief loss of muscle tone and consciousness, causing abrupt falls), atypical absence (staring spells), and myoclonic (sudden muscle jerks). There may be periods of frequent seizures mixed with brief, relatively seizure-free periods. Most children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome experience some degree of impaired intellectual functioning or information processing, along with developmental delays, and behavioral disturbances. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome can be caused by brain malformations, perinatal asphyxia, severe head injury, central nervous system infection and inherited degenerative or metabolic conditions. In 30-35 percent of cases, no cause can be found. Developmental Delay

Most children with LGS experience some level of impaired intellectual functioning. Approximately two-thirds of children with LGS show signs of intellectual disability either before or at the time of diagnosis. Other children tend to show signs within a couple years of the onset of the seizures. Some causes of impairment may be the underlying condition causing the epilepsy, the sedative effects of the anti-epileptic medication, and the abnormal electrical activity of the brain from uncontrolled seizures.

Behavioral Disturbances

Behavioral issues include poor social skills and attention seeking behavior. This may be the result of the condition causing LGS, the effects of the medication, uncontrolled epilepsy, or difficulty with interpreting information and a lower level of understanding concepts.

Is there any treatment?
LGS is one of the most drug-resistant forms of childhood epilepsy. As a result, seizures are treated with anticonvulsant medication, however, complete seizure control is not always achieved. It is difficult to find the best dose and the type of medication, and some drugs lose their effectiveness. A combination of drugs are often used,

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis for individuals with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome varies. There is no cure for the disorder. Complete recovery, including freedom from seizures and normal development, is very unusual.

What research is being done?

The NINDS conducts and supports a broad program of basic and clinical research on epilepsy including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These studies are aimed at finding the causes of these disorders, improving the diagnosis, and developing new medications and other therapies.

1 comment:

ourjoyfulljourney said...

We continue to pray for more awareness and a cure! Not only for Gabe but for all who suffer from this!