Update on the management of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome

Pediatr Neurol. 2012 Sep;47(3):153-61. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2012.05.001.


Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe childhood epilepsy disorder characterized by encephalopathy and multiple, often intractable, seizure types. The drop attack is the most frequently recognizable seizure type in this patient population, and is also the most dangerous physically, thus severely limiting quality of life. The diagnosis is confirmed by electroencephalography, for which the classic pattern is a slow 2.5 Hz generalized spike-and-wave. Newer pharmacologic treatments include rufinimide and clobazam. However, antiepileptic drugs are often exhausted in pursuit of seizure control requiring nonpharmacologic interventions. These include dietary therapies, vagus nerve stimulation, and epilepsy surgery, including corpus callosotomy and focal curative resection. Although large lobar resections are often required, very localized, discrete resections may be possible, as in symptomatic Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (specifically, hypothalamic hamartoma). We review the history of the disease and current management options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Corpus Callosum / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diet, Ketogenic
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / diagnosis
  • Intellectual Disability / drug therapy
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology
  • Intellectual Disability / therapy*
  • Lennox Gastaut Syndrome
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Seizures / drug therapy
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Spasms, Infantile / diagnosis
  • Spasms, Infantile / drug therapy
  • Spasms, Infantile / epidemiology
  • Spasms, Infantile / therapy*


  • Anticonvulsants

Supplementary concepts

  • Epileptic encephalopathy, Lennox-Gastaut type