Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

Also known as: LKS, acquired aphasia with convulsive disorder, infantile acquired aphasia, acquired epileptiform aphasia.

What is Landau-Kleffner syndrome?

Landau-Kleffner syndrome is a rare neurological disorder that causes sudden or gradual development of language difficulties (understand or express language) and, in some cases recurrent seizures in children, starting between the ages of 2 and 8 years. Boys are more often affected than girls. As it may clinically look like other neurological conditions it can be difficult to diagnose.
 

What causes Landau-Kleffner syndrome? 

About 20% children with LKS have changes (mutations) in a specific gene (GRIN2A gene) which is inherited from a parent (autosomal dominant trait). Other abnormal genes may be involved. In some children it has been proposed that the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks parts of the brain responsible for speech.
 

What are the symptoms of Landau-Kleffner syndrome?

Children with Landau-Kleffner syndrome often have trouble understanding language, and difficulty speaking. Seizures occur in about 70% of children and problems with behavioral problems (hyperactivity, attention deficits, temper tantrums and/or may be withdrawn) are not uncommon.
 

What are Landau-Kleffner syndrome care options? 

Treatments for Landau-Kleffner syndrome include medications to stop the seizures, corticosteroids, immunotherapy, surgery, and speech therapy/special education/language therapy.

 

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Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 1:59:48 PM

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