Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

What is Landau-Kleffner Syndrome?

Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (LKS) is a neurological disease that impacts the part of the brain that processes language comprehension and speech. It typically affects children between the ages of 3 and 7. Patients develop normally but then lose their ability to understand and use language.

Often, LKS is related to or accompanied by seizures and partial seizures, many of which occur during sleep.

Initially, LKS is often diagnosed as autism, hearing loss or verbal processing disorder. The disease is usually properly diagnosed via an electroencephalogram (EEG) that shows abnormal brain wave patterns.

What are the Symptoms of Landau-Kleffner Syndrome?

Children with Landau-Kleffner Syndrome forget the meanings of words that they once knew. Some sufferers lose the ability to speak normally, and some have seizures.

How is Landau-Kleffner Syndrome Treated?

If a patient has seizures, those must be managed through medication. Other drugs, including diazepam, can help with the language issues. Some medical professionals also prescribe steroids to help reduce any inflammation in the brain.

Some experimental surgeries have resulted in improvements for LKS patients, but no surgery for the condition is considered mainstream.

Many children recover from LKS and recover or re-learn their language skills, especially when speech therapy and other cognitive therapies are started right away. Some have permanent issues with understanding and using language.

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Last Reviewed:
October 09, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017